Rethinking Africa Convening
Rethinking Africa's potential - Building the foundation for peace and a secured Africa
As members of GLAC Africa we believe in our diversity, richness of expertise and experience in a broad range of thematic fields and in the capacity and potential of us as individuals and a collective to bring about societal change, and especially be a strong voice for peace in Africa. We therefore decided to shape our modes of working accordingly and developed Rethinking Africa Convening (RAC) in this context.
Total number of participants in all RAC events in 2021
Rethinking Africa Convening (RAC), aims at mobilizing the African community and African diaspora to exchange on priority cross-cutting issues facing the continent especially emerging threats to peace and stability in African countries. RAC offers opportunities for diverse African voices to be heard and creates a platform to co-create solutions and develop answers to questions dealing with conflict in Africa. RAC provides spaces for inspiration, peer-support and leadership and addresses the leadershift needed for the continental transformation.
The African community of the Global Leadership Academy (GLAC Africa) belongs to a global community of professionals (GLAC Community). Its members are characterized by their strong local knowledge, technical grounding and experience in Africa. They are committed to unlock Africa’s immense potential and contribute to the development and growth of the continent while building a generation of conscious Africans who will raise the bar in their work and environment.
We believe that change will come through work, commitment and will power to collectively tackle the issues facing the continent, and every action, every voice is of precious value. The RAC is an opportunity for engagement, knowledge and experience sharing, inspiring practical action and impact on the ground.
How might we collaborate to tackle the emergent threats to human security in Africa? What is the action you can take? Who can you influence? How can you make a difference?
We engage and exchange with frontline peace leaders and changemakers and add our voices for Africa’s future on key issues facing the continent. We will provide virtual spaces to meet other African change-makers, to get inspired by others, their experience and insights, to contribute our own perspectives and hear different voices. We bring inspiring speakers together: be it experts by profession, experts through life or people in high-level positions. The speakers give insights that serve as planting seeds to the following conversations and other activities.
By interactive small group exchanges, a diverse group of participants, from stakeholder groups on the African continent and the diaspora will engage in sharing and deeper listening to different perspectives and experiences on the key question “How can we make a difference?”.
We create spaces for collaboration, peer learning and mentorship amongst us and with relevant actors and institutions working in our focal areas within Africa and globally.
Harvest of key insights and learnings: The group exchanges will be used to condensate key insights and learnings in order to deduct concrete suggestions what each and every one as well as the collective GLAC Africa can do to spark change in our personal context and on the continent: We all have spheres of influences, we all have a voice in our environment, we all are the change we aspire and jointly co-create actionable ideas.
We contribute to public debate and take active part in creating solutions and answers to these pressing issues in a collaborative way.
Impact and outreach: With the support of experienced journalists and media experts of GLAC Africa we place our key insights, learnings and ideas publicly. We also inform about RAC and other activities of GLAC Africa in general as well as change projects that are the outcome of our work.
What are our topics?
GLAC Africa is members' driven and shaped according to the outcome of an intensive identity process which included a complex survey of our intentions, competencies, skills and interests. It was in the course of this survey in 2020 that we identified topics as to be the most pressing ones for building a peaceful, sustainable and secure future for the African continent: emerging threats to human security, and topics around migration and human trafficking, violence and conflict. Many of these challenges are not purely African challenges but have national and global layers to them. We therefore decided to draw on these topics identified and for 2021 start focussing on two of them to be able to fulfil our own expectations to our work and impact as described above.
Exploring the impact of human trafficking and migration on human security in Africa: state of the issue, Covid-19 perspectives and role of the diaspora (East and West Africa)
As Europe struggles to manage its largest migrant crisis in more than half a century, attention has focused largely upon the refugee flows from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where years of war and instability are driving the exodus. But in 2015, an estimated 154,000 migrants entered Europe via the Central Mediterranean Route – an increase of nearly 400% over the previous year, and more than 1,000% over 2012 – most of them from the Horn of Africa.
In contrast with the mass, largely uncontrolled movements of refugees from the Middle East, irregular migration from the Horn of Africa is dominated by highly integrated networks of transnational organized criminal groups. Coordinated by kingpins based chiefly in Libya and the Horn of Africa, these networks “recruit” their clients via schools, the Internet and word of mouth; they corrupt government officials to ensure seamless travel across borders; they collude with Libyan militias to secure safe passage across the desert to launching points on the southern shores of the Mediterranean; and they cast their human cargoes adrift at the limit of Libyan territorial waters in order to avoid interdiction and arrest by European security forces.
About 8.4 million migrants, representing 2.8 per cent of the total population, move around West Africa (UN DESA, 2009). This is the largest total migrant stock in Africa, and it moves internally, intra-regionally, continentally and internationally. West Africa also concentrates the highest number of intraregional migrants and, to a lesser extent, migrants moving towards Northern Africa and Europe.
Related on this topic RAC wants to work on the following questions:
- What are the challenges and trends of human trafficking and irregular migration in East and West Africa?
- How to provide timely and effective assistance and protection to vulnerable and people at risk?
- What is the best protection mechanism before the occurrence of trafficking and irregular migration?
- What should be the role of governments, UN agencies, civil societies and other stakeholders to address this issue?
We aim at producing products that directly contribute in supporting African countries, UN agencies and other actors in the area of migration and human trafficking on:
- Durable solutions and road maps for African countries, UN agencies and other actors in the area of migration and human trafficking
- How to promote peace and security for better management of migration and human trafficking
- Mitigation measures on the root causes/main drivers of irregular migration and trafficking especially in women and children in fragile areas
- Possible mitigation measures in the areas where trafficking persists, or people are especially vulnerable to human trafficking and illegal migration.
 Report on Human Trafficking and Smuggling on the Horn of Africa-Central Mediterranean Route by Sahan
Foundation and IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP) - 2016
Human insecurity and the enigma of electoral integrity and democratic violence: role of leaders and culture to prevent regional and identity-based violence in Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, DRC, Mali, Cameroon, West Africa …)
Human security in Africa is in a precarious situation. Africa’s dynamic security environment is characterized by great diversity from conventional challenges such as insurgencies, resource and identity conflicts, and post-conflict stabilization to growing threats from democratic violence, violent extremism, and organized crime taking root in urban slums, migration and narcotics trafficking, among others. This precarious environment jeopardizes security at the societal, community and individual levels. The challenges of attaining the security of African peoples are manifold and include the prevalence of a politics of exclusion and growing inequalities, electoral processes, poor relations between the military and civilian authorities, the weakness of civil society, and the failure of states. Ethnic and political conflict, especially south of the Sahara, remains a problem both within and between national borders.
Global Leadership Academy, GLAC Africa, we believe there is room for hope - but only when it is recognized that any successful security project must stress, above all, the safety of people in their secure communities.
Rethinking Africa Convening, RAC is an opportunity to shift the focus away from a state-centric and military-strategic emphasis on security to an interdisciplinary and people-centric approach that embraces notions like global citizenship, empowerment and participation.
Related on this topic RAC wants to work on the following questions:
- What really explain the rise of violence in Africa, what causes and trends?
- Rise of electoral violence and ballot integrity, voice of people vs political manipulation
- Role of cultural, religious and community leaders to address the issue of violence?
- What went wrong, in Sahel, East Africa, (Mali, Uganda, Ethiopia, …?) and what can be done about it
We aim at producing products that directly contribute in supporting African countries, UN agencies and other actors in the area of Peace, human Security and Democracy on:
- Durable solutions and road maps for African countries, UN agencies and other actors in the area human security with focus to democratic violence
- Best ways to engage communities in peaceful democratic processes
- Development of collaborative processes to take action on the issues identified, replicable to country or regional cases
- build on the collective intelligence to identify key entry points for intervention, and engagement of locally owned solutions
 Mentan T. Africa: Facing Human Security Challenges in the 21st Century. Bamenda, Cameroon: Langaa Research & Publishing CIG; 2014.
The launching session of RAC had to be online in response to the COVID-19 gathering and travel restrictions. The event running under the theme “Rethinking Africa’s potential- Building the foundation for peace and a secured Africa” brought together a group of experts in migration, peace and security. It was attended by participants from different parts of the world, mostly African countries. RAC's first online gathering was opened with a welcome address by Fabrice Muchiga, GLAC Ambassador for Africa followed by the keynote of the first day by Fabrice Fifonsi, African Parlamentarian's Network against Corruption (APNAC). The first day saw two vivid discussions on "Human insecurity and the enigma of electoral integrity and democratic violence " with panelists Brigitte Dzogbenuku (Ghana), Kah Walla (Cameroon) and Ibrahima Niang (Guinea) as well as "Africa's demographic transition - a political tinderbox or a catalyst for development?" with panelist Nerima Wako-Ojiera (Kenya). These were followed on the second day by a lively discussion on "Exploring the impact of human trafficking and migration on human security in Africa" with panelists Maxwell Matawere (Malawi) and Racha Haffar (Tunesia).
Details see below:
Rethinking Africa Convening’s first online gathering was opened with a welcome address by Fabrice Muchiga, GLAC Ambassador for Africa. Speaking to the multitude of conveners from all over the African continent that share his passion to become active for peace and security in Africa, Fabrice says, that “When a group of people commit to shared action coms together, there is nothing we cannot achieve.” Fabrice described the RAC as a platform to discuss global challenges and emerging threats to security and peace in Africa. The wonderful introduction was done by Becky Bissong Tchonko, Adviser of the GLAC Africa Core Group.
Urging everyone to reflect deeply about why we need a movement like Rethinking Africa Convening (RAC) Fabrice Fifonsi's speech was hinged on the necessity to rethink Africa. “We can leverage on our strong values and African culture such as respect for elders, self control, courtesy, forgiveness, diligence unity and cooperation, integrity and many more. These are just some of the cornerstones we can use to prevent conflicts in Africa,” Fabrice Fifonsi is convinced.
Founder of Mentoring Women Ghana.
A former Presidential Candidate for the Progressive People's Party in 2020, activists, founder of Mentoring Women Ghana, a recipient of the Fortune/Goldman Sachs Women’s Leadership Award in 2008 and certified Empowerment Trainer. She was the first General Manager of Aviation Social Centre. She is a former Brand Manager of SC Johnson and liaison officer for Ashanti Goldfields in Tanzania. Ms Dzogbenuku has served on the University of Ghana’s School of Languages Management Committee for two years and was also a Coach for the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program – a Muheres Por Africa (Women for Africa) program ran through the New York University’s Wagner Institute. Brigitte is a Fellow of the Vital Voices Leadership Network.
African political leader, activist and entrepreneur.
Kah Walla is internationally recognized for her expertise in management, her understanding of development issues and her strong stance on Africa, its women and youth. Walla is the Managing Director of STRATEGIES!, a 25-year old consulting firm based in Cameroon, that offers services to multinational firms and development organizations around the world. On October 9, 2011, Kah Walla ran as a candidate for the Presidency of Cameroon. Though she lost the election, her performance placed her solidly among Cameroon’s foremost political leaders. Today she leads the Cameroon People's Party (CPP), one of Cameroon's strongest grassroots political movements known to defend the interest of the poorest and most marginalized in society. The CPP is a member of the Stand Up For Cameroon platform which brings together political parties, civil society organizations and individual citizens who lead the non-violent movement for a Political Transition in Cameroon. Walla’s experience has enabled her to bring the issues of African entrepreneurs, farmers, women and youth at grassroots level to decision-making tables at the national, continental and global levels.
Kah Walla represents a different generation of African leadership, ready to lead the great continent to its rightful place on the global stage.
Advocacy Manager, Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
Ibrahima Amadou Niang is a passionate democracy and human rights advocate, grantmaker and author with solid experience in advocating for policy reform and influencing decision making processes. Until December 2020 he was OSIWA’s Country Officer for Guinea. For over 14 years he has worked for three key types of institutions in the governance ecosystem: an NGO (Gorée Institute), an international organization (International IDEA) and a donor organization (Open Society Foundations). In his various roles, he has strived to: build strong civil society organizations and movements, empower grassroots organizations, and promote civic engagement. As a ‘citizen of Africa’ he has worked in Burundi, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Ghana, Guinea, Gabon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo and Rwanda, either as a consultant (both short term and long term) or a permanent staff. In these countries he supported initiatives by the European Union, ECOWAS, AU, IFES, EISA and UNDP.
Nerima Wako-Ojiwa is the Executive Director of ‘Siasa Place’ – which is a youth organization established in 2015, dedicated to collaboratively create an environment that enables youth of Kenya to directly engage with the political mainstream in a meaningful way. Siasa Place educates youth on electoral processes, constitution, government institutions and functions. SP currently works in 10 counties. She attained her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Sociology from Jacksonville State University 2010 and her Master’s in Public Administration in 2012. Nerima is also a columnist with ‘The East African’ and 2018 Obama Leaders Fellow.
Crime Prevention Expert.
Focuses on Human trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants working for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Malawi as a National Programme Officer. He is Fellow of Stanford University in California, USA and alumni of the “Unveil the Hidden Presence: Trafficking in Women and Children", a Leadership and Innovation Lab by GLAC and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He is the recipient of the Malawi Government, Ministry of Youth 2005 Human Rights Champion Awards for innovation in social mobilization. He is a researcher and trainer on trafficking in persons and former Special Law Commissioner for the development of the Trafficking in Persons legislation in Malawi and recently he was conferred a 2020 Hero status on trafficking in persons prevention by the United States of America, Department of State for his tireless commitment to improving Malawi anti trafficking response through his advocacy efforts and by leveraging relationship with government agencies and his selflessness in serving as a reliable ally of trafficking in victims and their families.
Founder & CEO of Youth Against Slavery Movement.
Award-winning gender justice, anti-human trafficking, and modern slavery activist. She is also a founder of Not 4 Trade Organization, Youth Against Slavery Movement, and the Anti-Slavery Collective for Generation Equality. She is a CPD certified trainer on Human Trafficking and related issues from Safe Coalition for Human Rights. Ms Haffar holds consultative and leadership positions in different organizations namely African Youth Networks Movement founded by Ms Graca Mandela, United Africans against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, UN Women´s Gender Innovation Agora and Generation Equality Youth Task Force. A recipient of Women’s Rights Award from the United Nations Association, a Leadership Award from the University of Kentucky, and the campaigner award from Thomson Reuters Foundation. Ms Haffar has published her research on “The Developments of Trafficking in Women in Post-Revolution Tunisia” on Slavery Today Journal and delivered a TEDx Talk entitles ‘The Art of Befriending your Fears’. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Kentucky.
For a more extensive report on "How to support the harnessing of Africa’s potential demographic dividend through international collaboration" visit this page.
This year’s second RAC event is dedicated to “Rethinking peace and security in Sahel". Again it brings together a group of experts in migration, peace and security and is attended by participants from different parts of the world, with a strong focus on the African continent. Following a welcome address by Fabrice Muchiga, GLAC Ambassador for Africa the first meeting was kicked off by Prathivadi Anand, Professor of Public Policy & Sustainability at University of Bradford, UK.
We were honored to receive a keynote address by HE Moussa Mara, Former Prime Minister Of Mali (2014-2015). A lively panel then started discussing the situation in Sahel with a focus on Mali. Panelists on 13th July being Ute Kollies, Head of UN OCHA and Emmanuel Tronc of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in Geneva. On 27th July, further insights by journalist and researcher Paul Melly, joined by Hamadou Tidiane Sy, journalist and Ashoka Fellow followed. The sessions were moderated by David Harris, specialist in West African politics at the University of Bradford and Fabrice Muchiga. RAC II is convened in English with French translation being provided for.
Details see below:
Dr Anand is a specialist in environmental economics and public policy with a focus on the interface of urban economy, environment and sustainability. Dr Anand has held various leadership positions including as the Head of Centre for International Development at Bradford (2010-2015). Currently he is the PI of a three year British Academy funded project on infrastructure governance for inclusive, smart and sustainable cities (jointly with Prof Rajan of IIT Madras, India). He was the team leader and principal author of the Mongolia National Human Development Report 2011 titled From vulnerability to sustainability for UNDP. Previously, he had co-organised and led two international workshops at Cambridge (2006 and 2009) and a major international conference at Bradford (2011). He served as elected member of the Senate (2007-2010 and 2013-18) and elected member of senate on the University Council (2015-18). He is a council member of the Development Studies Association and a Fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association.
HE Moussa Mara is a politician who served as a Prime Minister in Mali in 2014 to 2015. He is a former Mayor of Bamako and Minister of Town Planning and Urban Policy. The former Prime Minister has a wealth of experience as the head of Mali's largest audit firm and holds many other responsibilities in Africa (member of juries, associate professor, member of international accounting structures. Moussa Mara is also a renowned author of several books and articles published in the press in his field of expertise as well as on political, governance, security, and development issues. He regularly participates in international meetings in Africa, but also in Europe, Asia, and America.
Ute Kollies is a humanitarian advocate. She works with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Mali as a Director. She formerly served as the director of OCHA's offices in the Ivory Coast, Chad, and Sudan.
Emmanuel Tronc is a senior program manager on Humanitarian Access and Negotiation at Conflict Dynamics International. He has extensive experience in conflict settings, medical and humanitarian emergency response, networking, and dialogue with state and non-state actors. Emmanuel also works as a senior advisor for a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and as an independent consultant for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Emmanuel was a head of mission for Doctors Without Borders from 1997 to 2016 in several countries, including Liberia, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and extensively in Afghanistan.
Paul Melly is a journalist focusing on development, politics and business issues in Africa and the Middle East. Paul is a Chatham House Associate Fellow with a focus on Africa. He also contributes to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Africa Confidential, MEED, Oxford Analytica, Middle East Economic Digest, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and Sasakawa Africa Association, among other publications. He is particularly interested in francophone Africa and Madagascar and has written for the EU Institute for Security Studies about the Sahel.
Hamadou Tidiane Sy
Hamadou Tidiane Sy
Hamadou Tidiane Sy is developing a Pan-African corps of independent, investigative journalists to focus on a range of important public issues. This media approach is helping to redefine African journalism and has the power to positively impact the dissemination of local and regional news.
After receiving a Master’s degree in English, Tidiane discovered his interest in journalism while interning at a news service in Ivory Coast. After this experience, he studied journalism at the Information Sciences & Techniques Study Centre (CESTI), the major public journalism school in Senegal where people are trained from all over West Africa. By 1993 he was selected as Chief of the news bureau of the leading South African news outlet, Channel Africa. After a few years with Channel Africa, Tidiane returned to Senegal where he worked for Agence France Press. He worked there several years and realized he was not receiving promotions because he was African. Soon after, Tidiane left his position and created an alternative news outlet—for himself and other investigative journalist—to avoid the discrimination and compromise he had dealt with during his professional life.
During his career in journalism, Tidiane was also very involved in the social sector. He worked with several COs, such as Enda and Panos, and helped to produce a network of internet information for local development.
Tidiane has received many accolades for his investigative reporting and is widely recognized among his peers for his standard of ethics.
How to get engaged
If you should be interested in taking an active role, please approach Mr Fabrice Muchiga at email@example.com
Fabrice Muchiga, Ambassador GLAC Africa
Fabrice Muchiga, Ambassador GLAC Africa
Mr Fabrice Muchiga is our regional ambassador for the African region. Fabrice is one of our members who joined the GLAC network via the Global Diplomacy Lab. He coordinates a community of 166 regional members from 28 countries.
Fabrice Muchiga is a systems-change leader and peace leadership facilitator with extensive experience in leadership development, social entrepreneurship and ecosystem building, network weaving and community engagement in Africa and Europe. Fabrice is an acute advocate for peace and human dignity which can be effective when good governance & integrity and human security are at the core of statecraft and state-building.
He is a diplomatic negotiator and mediator, member of The Global Diplomacy Lab and the Training for international Diplomats. Fabrice’s experience is also with ASHOKA Africa, leading the regional Strategy as Regional Venture and Fellowship Manager for the Sahel Region, with the Dakar Office up to September 2020.
Fabrice is currently persuing a Masters of Peace, conflict and Development from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.
How to support RAC
We also welcome partners and funders who want to support our work. Partners support our sustainability by lending their support to the activities and events of RAC. Funders are stakeholders who are interested in providing investment funds for social impact projects that arise within RAC. Funders may also be partners and members.
Our current partners (as of April 2021):