By Baba Sillah
Africa Rising Movement, a Pan African movement which comprises social movements, NGOs, artists, intellectuals, politicians among others was recently launched at the offices of ActionAid the Gambia which coincided with the Africa Day celebration.
The formation of the union came after more than two hundred representatives from civil society, trade unions, women groups, young people from across Africa and the African diaspora gathered in Arusha, Tanzania committed to build a Pan-African movement that recognises the rights and freedom of its people.
Key among the declaration at the conference were, Africa as a rich continent needs to fight for economic development that is just and embraces social inclusion and environmental care, commitment to build a critical African youth foundation in order to play a central role in building Africa Rising among other things for the advancement of Africa.
In his key note address, Almamo Barrow, head of programmes and policy ActionAid The Gambia, said the movement is about progressive Africans, civil society leaders and social movements engaged in various struggles to collaborate and share knowledge.
He explained that the reason for the formation of the movement is because Africans and indeed civil society in Africa are under assault on many fronts and experience of many restrictions on political space, the erosion of women’s rights, rampant corruption that aids illicit financial outflows, natural resource devastation and increasing threats to peace and security.
He continued: “Africa Rising wants to work with and alongside other social movements. Together we are stronger and can continue to make sure people’s struggles for justice are successful and powerful. We will continue celebrating the multiplicity of voices and building consensus at each step; no one will be left behind. The organisational structure for the movement and its way for working will reflect the lean and agile nature of the movement itself.”
Other speakers included Omar Badgie , the executive director of Action Aids the Gambia and Lamin Darboe of National Youth Council, who challenged the youths to live up to expectation and achieve the dream of the organisation.