What you need to know:
- The feminists drawn from East and West Africa converged in Nairobi on Sunday for a dialogue.
- Ms Coumba Toure, author and coordinator at the Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity movement, said the call was in line with their founding charter.
Pan-African feminists have called upon Africans to donate towards their cause of amplifying and connecting movements on the continent and in the diaspora.
The feminists drawn from East and West Africa who converged in Nairobi on Sunday for a dialogue said citizen-financing is the first step towards building a liberated continent that can respond to its needs.
Ms Coumba Toure, author and coordinator at the Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity movement, said the call was in line with their founding charter, the Kilimanjaro Declaration, which commits to a decentralised, citizen-owned future that builds support and solidarity for local struggles and empowers local leadership.
“Our goal is to get one million Africans, our friends and allies everywhere to contribute at least one dollar a month for justice, peace, dignity and change. It is about us having ownership and being able to effectively run our programmes which we cannot do given the current funding levels,” she stated.
The funds, Ms Toure said, would be used to mobilise and organise activists and communities working to advance women’s empowerment, youth leadership, climate justice, and transparency in governance.
Launched five years ago, the Africans Rising movement has been focusing on uniting and liberating the continent.
In 2020, they fund-raised for Covid-19 relief at the grassroots across the continent. Following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the lobby group has also been mobilising support for Africans in collaboration with Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in Hungary. They offer accommodation, food and other essentials to Africans who have crossed the border into Hungary.
During the dialogue hosted by Ruth Nyambura of African Ecofeminist Collective, Ms Toure insisted that the continent can draw lessons from histories of women and the power of their solidarity.
“From Aline Diatta resisting the colonial government’s looting in Senegal to Prof Wangari Maathai’s political activism and climate justice in Kenya, it’s clear that African women have always been on the frontline of agitating for socio-economic and political reforms,” she said.
“By giving their time, resources and knowledge, African women transform lives and society without stripping the dignity of beneficiaries through their gift economies.”
Ms Nyambura reiterated that women continue to organise themselves outside of the state or formal structures but still create impact despite the challenges they face.
“In Kenya, chamas (informal microfinance groups) have been circles of solidarity for our mothers and sisters. Aside from the economic liberation they provide, they have been spaces of love, care and support,” said Ms Nyambura.
The feminists also challenged capitalism, neo-colonialism, privatisation of natural resources like water and the inequalities facing women.