IASF-A resounding Success

07 November 2012

Press Statement

International African Solidarity Festival

The Action Support Centre (ASC) held a successful International African Solidarity Festival (IASF) on 2-4th November 2012 at the BOSCO Centre in Walkerville South Africa.

Held under the banner: “Celebrate, Consolidate and Strategise:” the IASF brought together more than 350 ACTION members and partners from across Africa and around the world.

Over 35 countries were represented including delegates from Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Egypt, Syria, Somalia, Somaliland, Swaziland, the Phillipines, Uganda, Zimbabwe, together with a strong contingent of participants from all the provinces of South Africa.

The IASF offered solidarity activists an opportunity to share wisdom, knowledge, ideas and insights; providing a space for deepening the culture of people-to-people solidarity through learning and exchange.

It was a moment of reconnection and a shared celebration of successes, and an opportunity for collective strategising about the future.

The vibrancy that drove the thematic workshop discussions and the depth of information sharing, re-energised and renewed the collective commitment of ACTION members and partners to a transformative agenda.

The discussions focused on exploring opportunities and deepening an understanding of the challenges facing Africa, as well as the complex global context within which the transformation of the continent is taking place.

The Thematic Workshop discussions were informed by expertise drawn from different backgrounds across the world.

Elinor Sisulu, Isabella Matambanadzo and Bishop Paul Verryn addressed the Cultural Evening, with their presentations connecting the people and deepening solidarity.

The Cultural Evening included live performances from local artists, poetry, traditional dances, music, and great African food. People danced and celebrated long into the night.

Robust workshop discussions guided by 8 key pillars addressing broad issues such as peace and transformative justice, solidarity, human rights, African Renaissance, culture, poverty and inequality, and the role of youth. Emerging from these discussions, IASF participants committed themselves to the following:

  • Support the struggles of the people of the DRC, Palestine, Madagascar, Tibet, Somali, Syria, Swaziland, Western Sahara, Burma and Zimbabwe
  • Consolidate existing coalitions and strengthen networks, including establishing traditional structures and mechanisms to empower communities to engage and link with different initiatives at all levels
  • Use indigenous knowledge to develop alternative solutions to Africa’s challenges
  • Increase civil society representation in a broad based alliance of democrats as we build and implement a Proudly African Campaign – an inspiring and galvanising intercontinental initiative based on dignity, African ingenuity (including arts and technologies) and transformation
  • Support and encourage organised youth movements as a visionary force that should drive and lead an African process of transformation and renewal
  • Develop an African renewal programme, driven by all sectors, that will build leadership institutions to produce visionary value driven leaders groomed on the continent, by the continent and for all the people of Africa
  • Develop and communicate a clear role for the African Diaspora that finds ways to harness their skills and participation in building new institutions and contributing directly to the transformation agenda
  • Use art and culture as methodologies for peacebuilding and socio-economic and political transformation that goes beyond divisions by using social commentary to subvert power
  • Develop campaigns that deepen an awareness of the continental and global context within which transformation is taking place and that seek to make the connection between dynamics at local, national, regional and international levels
  • Recognising the impact of individual and collective trauma on African communities and work to deepen and extend initiatives aimed at processing and overcoming the debilitating impact of this trauma
  • Encourage existing efforts to build social cohesion and promote dialogue
  • Initiate new forms of organisation that create spaces in which people feel involved in decision making, and part of a collective group with common purpose organised behind a shared value driven agenda
  • Explore and initiate the emerging idea of an African Solidarity Caravan that travels from Cape Town to Cairo connecting conflict transformation, peacebuilding and solidarity activists through a series of solidarity events hosted by local networks intent on taking forward the vision of a world of justice and peace in which the basic needs of people are met and human rights and dignity are respected

For more inform contact:

Philani Ndebele (Campaigns Manager) The ACTION Support Centre (ASC)

Cell: +27 (0)76 942 3565 or +27 (0)73 371 7724

Email: philani@asc.org.za