African Solidarity Caravan: Zambia Social Forum

Caravan1Public discussion on peace, justice, security and development 

The event took place in Lusaka, Zambia on the 7th to the 9th of August. It included a public discussion, messages of solidary, testimonies on peace and security, a social march, soccer and cultural performances as a reflection of peace. 

Key Messages of Solidarity

The first solidarity message, shared by Mr Alex Mukuka Musanya, emphasized the importance of strong connections between leaders at all levels, and the desire to see the peace in Zambia shared and nurtured in other African countries. The second message, by Mama Chibesa Kankasa, explored the history of the United National Independence Party, and the impact of the segregation on women and families. Finally, she explained how the Peace Committee, Development Committee and Equality Committee were formed when the United Nations declared a decade for women. She shared the Zambian slogan of ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION that was the building ground for 73 tribes living in harmony under the leadership of Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

A Social March, Soccer and Cultural Performance: As a Reflection on peace.

There was a one-kilometer march/walk that attracted more than 100 people with an additional 100 community members joining as the march proceeded. Key messages of solidarity and information about the purpose of the event were shared before, during and after the match.

A soccer match between civil society organisations and the government then followed this. A media briefing took place at the sports ground and a recap of all the events was reported to the media. 

The cultural event started with giving encouraging words on peace, security and justice from His Worship Potinpher Tembo. Sarah Longwe congratulated the teams on the spirit shown on the football field. She encouraged reflections and recommendations on the part of the audience. Discussions took place and these were the recommendations:

  •  Discourage gender-based violence, corruption and vote buying.
  •  Youths should be the key drivers of development in Zambia and Africa as a whole.
  •  Violence against women should be stopped and reported to the relevant authorities.
  •  Ownership of land by women should be encouraged.
  •  Youth projects should be strengthened in Zambia.
  •  Shelters for women should be established.
  •  Ill-treatment from parents should be reported and stopped.
  •  Pubs and Taverns should be monitored to avoid underage drinking.
  •  Access to loans and land resources should be increased for youth and women.
  •  Customary land practices should be changed.
  •  Encouraging entrepreneurship among the youth should take priority.
  •  Promotion of peace building NGOs must take center stage.
  •  More funding for more Caravan events should be raised.
  •  Replicate the idea of the Caravan in all other African countries
  •  Policies should address and accommodate women and youth issue across Africa.

Outcomes

Learning, information and skills sharing were encouraged especially around Local Peace Committees. The concept of the Caravan was seen as viable and important, and there was appreciation of the role of culture in the promotion of peace and development was.

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