It can be recalled that IA under the EMEA Project & IGF program is supporting more than 30 Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) through their projects. On June 07 & 08-2021, IA conducted a monitoring visit on selected 4 IGF beneficiaries to review their project progress and discuss identified gaps witnessed during their progress report submission.
Quite a fruitful discussion held with project teams of each BMOs on possible areas of improvement in selected activity areas, gaps in reporting (both narrative and financial) and lessons learned for an effective implementation in the remaining project duration.
The BMOs were delighted and thank IA team for the continuous support provided.
Stop attacks on children
It is celebrated on 4 June annually to highlight the pain suffered by children across the world who are the victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. The day affirms the commitment of the UN to protect the rights of children.
The day celebrates the millions of individuals and organizations working to protect and preserve the rights of children. For example, the Global Movement for Children leadership from Nelson Mandela, etc. Another campaign namely the “Say Yes for Children” is endorsed by more than 94 million people. The campaign calls for ten positive actions to be taken to improve the lives of children.
It is sad reality that in some situations children are affected and violations that occur may be use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools etc.
This day wants to make people aware in the whole world about the impact of cruelty or abuse was done with children in all its forms. Also, to protect children’s rights this day make organizations and individuals learn and take part in the campaign.
Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 envisions ‘An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics’. This calls for an African cultural renaissance which is pre-eminent and that inculcates the spirit of Pan Africanism; tapping Africa’s rich heritage and culture to ensure that the creative arts are major contributors to Africa’s growth and transformation; and restoring and preserving Africa’s cultural heritage, including its languages.
Globally, the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) play a key role in contributing to GDP. In recognition of the importance of CCIs in achieving the Agenda 2063 objectives of regional integration, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, the African Union declared the Year 2021 as “The AU Year of the Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.
Culture incorporates social behaviour and norms of a society as well as the language, knowledge, beliefs, traditions, arts, customs, capacities and habits of a certain community and the 2021 Theme is a declaration at a continental level for member states to invest more resources in promoting national and regional cohesion by investing in African culture and heritage as a vehicle for promoting and achieving the national economic and social development goals outlined in Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The Year of Arts, Culture and Heritage is happening at a time when the continent is still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has imposed heavy human, financial and economic costs to Africa. However, during the pandemic the Creative and Cultural Industries in Africa have played a key role in contributing efforts towards prevention and combating the spread of Covid-19 and furthermore the increased use of technology has created new spaces for CCIs sector to thrive by using digital platforms to promote their goods and services. The pandemic has provided an opportunity to re-examine the continent’s socio-economic priorities, including the role of cultural workers, towards contributing to building stronger and more resilient health and social sectors, promoting equality, inclusion, social cohesion and African Renaissance, as inspired by the Ubuntu Philosophy ‘I AM because you are; You are because I Am’.
Activities and programmes to be implemented under the 2021 Theme will prioritise the following:
- Arts and Culture;
- Health, Wellness and Post COVID-19 Response;
- African Languages;
- History and Oral Traditions; and
Initiative Africa carried out several training and discussion sessions for the first-time voters in universities and youth groups over 10 locations in different regions across the nation. The chosen locations were Diredawa, Ambo, Adama, Bahirdar, Debrebirhan, Hawassa, Gondar, Wolayta, Arbaminch and Wello.
The training focused on the importance of youth participation in the election, the basics of the election and the procedures of voting. The program was entertaining as it includes a mock -election, short play that was well accepted by the participants as the performance added the youth’s point of view and talents.
In addition, a group of 5 women were selected among the trainees and were given TOT and facilitation training on first time voter education and discussion. The women in turn cascaded the training to their peers in their community.
The trainings proved to be fruitful, and the youth shared their point of view and understanding to learn from one another and discussed through dialogue.
Initiative Africa (IA) co-facilitated the Mayors-Private Sector Conference which took place on May 6th and 7th which was titled ” Cities as Engines of Business Proliferation: What is Missing in Ethiopian Context?”. The thematic areas of the discussion sessions were:
- Traineeship, apprenticeships and internship: key changes and good practices in cities
- Changing mind-sets towards entrepreneurship – how can they be made more attractive in building businesses in cities?
- Schemes and sources of financing and financing models for entrepreneurship in cities
- Preserving cities while growing them
- Leveraging cities’ potential for their growth
The conference was aimed at increasing Mayors’ understanding of their own entrepreneurship eco-system, discovering innovative policies that improve economic outcomes, and implementing those policies within their unique cities.
The conference was attended by over 50 Mayors, private sector leaders, different Chambers of Commerce and business associations, high level officials from different Ministries and other public offices and other stakeholders working in the Ethiopian Business Environment.
On April 15th, 2021, Initiative Africa [IA] participated in a panel discussion organized by Social Enterprise Ethiopia [one of the development partners of the Innovative Grant Fund] titled “Business Recovery and Policies for Growth in Ethiopia” at Elilly Hotel.
The discussions were very lively and brought together different stakeholders. Namely, from the public sector – Job Creation Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Ministry of Trade and Industry. In addition to several business operators, the discussions also included Non-Governmental Organizations which are also working on Business Environment reform in Ethiopia like the Center of International Private Enterprises [CIPE] – East Africa Regional Office and Reach for Change.
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