There is every reason to be hopeful about the future of the African continent
Whether it is the fact that African smallholder farmers use their land, water and nutrients so efficiently that they feed entire communities. Or the fact that young African women and girls increasingly use online spaces to stand up for their rights: these are all signs of a bright future. At the same time, we should not ignore the continent’s challenges. With climate change threatening the subsistence of millions of people, health financing at stake due to interlocking crises and most of the labour force without decent work conditions, there are numerous challenges ahead.
Together with African and Dutch civil society organisations
Convinced of the ingenuity and the demonstrated impact of civil society in responding to such challenges, African and Dutch civil society organisations (CSOs) organised a series of online sessions in June. The purpose of these sessions was to provide recommendations for the upcoming Dutch Africa strategy based on input from African and other experts. Each session was organised by a small group of CSOs with similar expertise, who jointly chose a theme, reached out to African experts and invited relevant stakeholders. As a result, the sessions greatly benefited from the insightful contributions of African panellists and participants.
Afterwards, the organisers summarised the main recommendations for the Africa strategy formulated during their session. Partos has compiled these recommendations in a single document and has added a short introduction with several overarching recommendations. We then shared the document with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is tasked with preparing the Africa strategy.
Local African context and successful solutions
In our view, the document strongly reflects the local African context and contains solutions that have been successfully initiated, tried and tested by African organisations and citizens. Without their sharp and inspiring contributions to the input sessions, the document would not have been as rich as it is now. Therefore, Partos thanks them and all the other participants wholeheartedly for their contributions. Furthermore, we encourage the ministry of Foreign Affairs to closely involve African citizens and CSOs in designing and implementing the Dutch Africa strategy. Only then will the strategy have a chance of contributing to that bright future for the African continent.