Policy Centre for African Peoples
Centre d'Idées pour les Peuples Africains

The platform for African visions

Tag: African development

Briefings on New Policies Towards Africa

Throughout 2015, we will be briefing and harnessing the collaboration of key international stakeholders including the European Union, Grassroot Diplomat etc. on new policies towards Africa.

These policies are based on years-long research and evidence-based recommendations. Below are some of the papers that inform these policies. Do not hesitate to contact us on info[@]policycap.org should you too wish to arrange a briefing from our team.

Recommended Papers and Articles:

Je Suis Africa -By Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell

 

The late Professor Wangari Maathai once said that the wonderful thing about Africans, and their biggest strength, is that they never give up; they have had countless historical and practical reasons for succumbing to despair, but they never do. So as the terrorist group Boko Haram slaughters, kidnaps and enslaves people in my native Cameroon and, more devastatingly, Nigeria, I refuse to give up hope.

Many observers have commented on the worldwide publicity and outpouring of support that followed the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, as opposed to the muted response to Boko Haram’s massacre of the inhabitants of Baga, a town in north-east Nigeria. But this victimhood competition misses the point. Barely a few minutes after the killing of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices, President Hollande vowed to hunt down the attackers in front of the world’s media and swiftly went to commiserate with the surviving Charlie Hebdo staff, thus prompting the international community to do the same.

In contrast, rather than prioritising hunting down the terrorists over everything else, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and his government have focused on campaigning for the 14 February elections, as well as insisting that Boko Haram has merely killed 150 in Baga, and not 2,000 as Amnesty International claims.

How many Nigerian lives must be lost before they too behave like President Hollande? We absolutely have to stop expecting others to care more about Africans than Africans themselves.

Although the stance of the Cameroonian government against Boko Haram has been far more robust and determined, this is not why I am hopeful. For Cameroonian populations will never be safe as long as this group operates in Nigeria. What gives me hope is that, at long last, neighbouring countries seem to be waking up to the fact that Boko Haram represents an existential threat not only to Nigeria but to them as well. For instance, after years of turning a blind eye, President Idriss Déby of Chad has just sent troops to fight the terrorists both in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Nevertheless, the Chadian intervention is far from being the panacea to Boko Haram. In a way, President Déby could be seen as an arsonist turned firefighter because of the imminent threat to his vital interests. He has been accused in the past of supporting brutal Muslim militias in neighbouring states, thus contributing to the regional insecurity that has strengthened Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. But even if Déby is now genuinely eager to collaborate with Cameroon and Nigeria, Boko Haram will not be defeated unless there is a concerted African and international effort to make that happen.

The African Union (AU) must, once and for all, resolve to preserve itself from the fate of its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, which was widely derided as a toothless bulldog due to its incapacity to protect African populations from wars and other challenges facing them. It must take the lead and spearhead an international campaign aimed at securing more troops, money, military equipment and other resources needed to bolster the armies of the countries fighting Boko Haram.

This may sound like wishful thinking. But as a board member of the African Democratic Institute (ADI), I have witnessed first-hand how effective Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the AU Chairperson, can be in terms of mobilising relevant stakeholders to achieve a given objective. At a meeting co-organised by the AU and ADI in Addis Ababa on 8 November 2014, she managed to convince business people to donate over $30 million to the AU Private Sector Ebola Fund within a few hours. Peace and security are as crucial to the welfare of African people as health.

Far from being the endgame, defeating Boko Haram will just be a first step towards providing African citizens with a propitious environment for safety, law and order, as well as prosperity. Once this group is neutralised, Nigerian and other African rulers, the African Diaspora, and the international community must devise and implement a long-term strategy that will shield African populations from opportunistic fundamentalists.

The leaders of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and other African countries threatened by Islamic insurgents must realise that good governance is the most effective weapon they urgently need to acquire to overcome this threat. For too long, they have siphoned off, mismanaged and squandered their nations’ resources while relying on foreign donors to provide basic services to their people. This has to stop.

Under the guise of fostering education in Africa, citizens from Gulf countries have sponsored religious schools promoting a fundamentalist, Salafi interpretation of Islam that is utterly alien to African populations and unconducive to social cohesion in the fragile, multi-ethnic postcolonial African states.

Boko Haram knows that there is no widespread acceptance of fundamentalist Islam amongst Nigerian and other local populations. This is why it is resorting to the scorched earth policy and indiscriminate mass slaughters, instead of trying to run a state as the Islamic State is doing in Iraq and Syria. Any African government that will use its resources to feed and protect its people, eradicate youth unemployment, and run schools promoting national cohesion, justice, rule of law and the enlightened interpretation of Islam that has been practised in Africa for centuries, will easily overcome Islamic insurgents.

But the corruption, bad governance and nepotism that have prevented Nigeria, the richest African country in terms of GDP, from confronting Boko Haram effectively, are too entrenched amongst African rulers. We cannot expect them to suddenly see the light and start prioritising the welfare of their people to their own selfish ambitions.

This is where the African Diaspora comes in. African Diaspora members have more freedom than local African populations, and far less vested interests in the preservation of the status quo than the corrupt African elites and their foreign partners. They are, thus, more likely to be the catalysts for the generation and implementation of progressive policies. This is, for instance, why the impetus for the decolonisation of Africa in the 20th century started in the Diaspora.

Equally, current members of the African Diaspora must realise that they too have a duty and a unique opportunity to shape and build postcolonial Africa. It is not enough for them to write about or comment on the atrocities committed by Boko Haram on African populations. This is fiddling while Africa is burning.

They must say to themselves, “Je suis Africa”, and then, start using their financial, human and any other resources they have, including links with the internal community, African Union, influential Africans etc. to nudge, encourage or, when necessary, compel African leaders to implement policies that will bring long-term peace, security and prosperity to their populations.

Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, Director, Policy Centre for African Peoples

PCAP Director Appointed to the Advisory Board of the British Award for Africa Development

We are delighted to announce that Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, Director of our think tank, the Policy Centre for African Peoples, was  appointed to the Advisory Board of the British Award for Africa Development (BRAAD) in September 2014.

“It is a great honour and pleasure to serve on the Advisory Board of the British Award for Africa Development, which recognises individuals, businesses and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to African development”, Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell says.

The British Award for Africa Development is a project pioneered and developed by Peace International, to highlight and recognise the achievements of talented individuals who have excelled in academia, entrepreneurial endeavours, as well as NGOs or companies who have contributed time, finances or sheer hard work to support the development of Africa and the African Diaspora.

The inaugural ceremony of the British Award for Africa Development is scheduled to take place at the House of Lords, Westminster Houses of Parliament in London, on Thursday 4 December 2014.

“The British Award for African Development is a fantastic initiative and provides an opportunity for individuals and companies to be recognised and celebrated for all they have contributed to African communities both in the UK and abroad. I fully support BRAAD and I am looking forward to an enjoyable evening. I wish all the nominees the best of luck”. Pauline Lathan, OBE, UK Member of Parliament.

To be a recipient of the British Award of Africa Development nominees have to meet one or more of the criteria which include being a model of good governance, investing in people and human development; building capacity and knowledge transfers and creating jobs for the Diaspora and in Africa; facilitating sustainable community development and introducing innovations in the business sector; facilitating Diaspora, country or regional economic development, social and private investment and financial empowerment; encouraging community excellence with outstanding service in the community, outstanding moral, financial and/or resource support and investment in the community; and being responsible for outstanding achievements in education and academia, and to be outstanding in a given sector.

“Today Africa is among the world’s fastest growing economies despite the recent global downturn. Apart from Multinational investors, Africa and the Diaspora are leading in this new economic boom as they are actively taking part in entrepreneurship and investment. The Diaspora are also participating in the economic development of their adopted countries”. says Jean Bosco Kanyemesha, Executive Director of Peace International and Founder of the British Award for Africa Development.

Peace International actively advocates for peace, reconciliation and development in the great lake regions of Africa and specifically the Democratic Republic of Congo. The organization has undertaken advocacy work with Lord William of Oystermouth, former Archbishop of Canterbury as part of a campaign entitled “Prayer for Peace in Congo”.

Peace International actively engages with the UK Parliament; the Department for International Development (DfID); the Foreign & Commonwealth Office; and the European Union. The initiative is supported by Lord David Alton, the Former Lord Bishop of Winchester, and the Right Reverend Michael Joynt Scoot.

PCAP at UN Forum 2014 -28 June

 

We are delighted to announce that the Director of the Policy Centre for African Peoples, Ms Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, will participate as a panellist in the UN Forum 2014.

The event,  due to take place in Central London on 28th June, will feature speakers including the Rt Hon. Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister of State, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Mark Seddon, Speechwriter for the UN Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General, HE Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, former UK Foreign Secretary, Zeinab Badawi, BBC World News Today, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UNA-UK Chairman and former UK Ambassador to the UN, and many other high profile speakers.

The debate in which Aboa-Bradwell will participate, is titled “Is Our Approach to Development Flawed?” Other debaters include John Githongo, Independent Commission for Aid Impact, Professor Sir Richard Jolly, Institute of Development Studies and former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Claire Melamed, Overseas Development Institute.

Download the Programme for more information.

 

African Union at 50 Debate

The Policy Centre for African Peoples was represented by its Director, Ms Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, at a recent TV debate on the 50 years of the African Union.

Watch the Debate

 

Press Release; ‘Pitching Africa in the City’, 23 April 2020

 

If you need Further information please contact Sylvie on sbradwell[@]apadvocacy.org or 07952051994

 

March 2013, London

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘Leading Lions’ to Pitch Africa in the City

Prominent members of the African Diaspora will brief City investors about innovative and lucrative ideas for Africa’s development at Cass Business School on 23 April 2013.

The briefing, titled ‘Pitching Africa in the City’, will mark a sharp departure from the points usually made about the African Diaspora’s contribution to Africa’s development through remittances. Instead, investors and business people will receive tips on practical steps they can take to boost their presence in the African market, and how they can engage with African Diaspora professionals to take advantage of on-going and forthcoming development opportunities in Africa.

The panellists include Ben Oguntala, CEO of DevelopedAfrica.com, an online resource which will allow international companies unprecedented access to commercial development opportunities in African countries. Mr Oguntala will outline the usefulness of this resource to companies already operating in Africa, and to those seeking to move into this expanding market.

Another speaker will be Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, CEO of the UK-based think tank Policy Centre for African Peoples (PCAP). She will brief attendees about the documentary Leading Lions, which PCAP is currently producing. The documentary follows four outstanding members of the African Diaspora, including several panellists, as they work and implement their groundbreaking ideas in the City, London, Africa and elsewhere. Ms Aboa-Bradwell will discuss how investors and business people can position themselves at the forefront of the positive transformation of Africa by participating in the Leading Lions project.

There will also be interventions from Didier Meledje, president of Alpha Professional Network (APN), and Justine Lutterodt, ethical leadership consultant and co-founder of the Africa Women’s Circle. Mr Meledje will highlight the need for investors to engage with APN in order to gain invaluable insights into African as well as other emerging and frontiers markets.  Ms Lutterodt will discuss the relevance of ethical leadership for investment in Africa, and the importance of empowering African women entrepreneurs.

Henry Bonsu, Colourful Radio director, and narrator of the Leading Lions documentary, will chair the briefing. ‘I am excited to preside over this unique mobilisation of the African Diaspora aimed at engaging businesses in order to boost Africa’s development,’ Mr Bonsu said.

The event will also feature an exhibition by businesses with services related to the African market; a showcasing of African Diaspora services to the City, and a drinks reception.

Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, who is organising the briefing in collaboration with Ben Oguntala, said: ‘This is an unmissable opportunity for astute investors to get ahead of the game in Africa, and participate in the positive transformation of Africa in the 21st century.’

-       ENDS     -

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Event’s Details: April 23, 2013, 5.30pm – 9.30pm, Cass Business School, London EC1Y 8TZ

 

Registration:  http://pitchingafricainthecity.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell is available for interview on (+44) (0) 7952 051994, and Ben Oguntala on (+44) (0) 7812 039 867

PCAP at Guardian Global Development Debate

The Director of the Policy Centre for African Peoples (PCAP), Ms Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, participated in a debate on global development hosted in London by The Guardian on 25th January 2013. The topic was the impact of migration on developing countries.

The debate was chaired by John Vidal, Guardian’s environment editor. The other panellists included Michael Clemens, from the Centre for Global Development, and Theodora Xenogiani, economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

 Listen to the debate