Our work at STRATEGIES! is always extremely busy and extremely exciting. The last 10 working days have been a great example of this.
10 Days Contributing to Solutions in 10 Key Areas Across the Globe
1) Fiscal Decentralization and Investment Environment in Benin.
With the GIZ Governance Fund based in Germany we began analysis of how to support ongoing reforms in fiscal decentralization and strengthening the national framework for public and private investment in Benin. The GIZ team in Benin and experts from Germany will provide technical assistance, STRATEGIES! will facilitate the process. A great kick-off online working session enabled us to begin identifying priority areas for support to Benin institutions. Exciting to see Benin making changes that will strengthen decentralization and improve the business environment.
2) Agriculture in Africa
STRATEGIES! has been working to support Agriculture at the continental level since 2007. It was bittersweet to attend the session bringing an end to GIZ support to CAADP programs. Bitter, because endings are always a little so. Ever so sweet as CAADP successes were listed and we could identify where STRATEGIES! had contributed. From anchoring CAADP implementation in national planning and budgeting frameworks to ensuring the voices of farmers and especially women farmers are included in the process. STRATEGIES! played its part.
3) Mining in West Africa
Since 2012, STRATEGIES! has been working on mining in Africa. In the last 10 days we have engaged with partners at the KP-Civil Society Coalition and at GIZ in Côte d’Ivoire in healthy discussions on how the mining sector in Africa is adapting to COVID-19. What is the impact in the short term and the medium term? What are the strategic decisions countries need to take for both large-scale and artisanal mining? How do we ensure the rights of communities affected by mining are protected in this moment? Very interesting initial study produced by our partner the KP-CSC here: https://www.kpcivilsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/The-Impact-of-COVID-19-on-African-communities-affected-by-diamond-mining-KPCSC.pdf
4) Racial Justice in the United States
The United States is in crisis. Citizens are also examining the opportunities to rethink and redesign their society. As our partners at Humanity United and Vital Voices analyze how to improve racial justice within their institutions, they called on us at STRATEGIES! to help think through solutions and facilitate discussions. Our unique African perspective contributes to globalizing perspectives on racial justice. It is extremely exciting to be part of this discussion.
5) Police Reform in Africa
As racial justice is top on the global agenda, so is police reform. Throughout the world communities, cities and entire countries are discussing the role of the police. STRATEGIES! was thrilled to be contacted by the GIZ program on Police Reform in Africa to help develop and facilitate their first online discussion session.
6) Macro Trends in the Great Lakes Region
The International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has been a privileged partner at STRATEGIES! for over 12 years. STRATEGIES! facilitated the development of the ICGLR mission, vision and strategic framework years ago and we have facilitated planning sessions at various levels over the years. To strengthen evidence-based planning at the ICGLR, STRATEGIES developed a macro-trends tool in 2015 which gives an overview of the key security, economic and humanitarian statistics in the region yearly. 1/3 Africans lives in the Great Lakes Region. As the region faces COVID-19, it is more important than ever, to analyze the macro-trends.
7) Planning with Farmers at the Continental Level
The Pan-African Farmers’ Organization is a long-time partner. It was great to renew with them this year as STRATEGIES! facilitated the development of the African Agribusiness Youth Strategy for the African Union. This week PAFO engaged discussions with us about its own strategic planning. PAFO represents 70-80 million farmers in Africa with farmer’s dozens if organizations at national level, 5 regional levels and the continental level. We are still in preliminary discussions, but it would be an honor to support the planning process of this essential continental organization.
8) Engaging Men as Allies for Women’s Political Participation
Gender equality is part of the DNA of STRATEGIES! and we continuously look forward to projects that enable us to work in this domain. This week we were thrilled to develop a bid for an offer on “Engaging Men as Allies for Women’s Political Participation”. Will STRATEGIES! win the bid? Remains to be seen. However, we have truly enjoyed developing our offer and it has rekindled our commitment to this value. Fingers crossed!
9) Fighting Gender-Based Violence in the Great Lakes Region
The Regional Training Facility of the ICGLR is based in Uganda and trains police, medical and judicial staff from ICGLR’s 12 Member States on how to fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence using national institutions and instruments that have been agreed upon at the ICGLR regional level. It is always a delight to exchange with the results-focused RTF team. Despite COVID-19, they are carrying out studies and training sessions. We discussed how STRATEGIES! can support them to strengthen their online training sessions. It will be a pleasure as usual.
10) Writing the STRATEGIES! Story
It is 2020 and @Strategies is 25 years old! We are preparing for celebration. One of the things that will mark this celebration is the writing of our story. Today began the first session of the collective writing of the book. A session full of laughter, memories and lessons. It’s going to be great!
By Kah Walla, CEO of STRATEGIES! Consulting Firm