On Saturday, 24 October, our ALforGovernance sector led a virtual panel discussion about the Nigerian youth movement #EndSARS which dominated social media and news headlines this month. Under the title “Community Discussion in Light of #EndSARS”, the digital event helped participants come to grips with the movement, as well as thoughtfully engage on finding solutions in support of the young people leading the powerful movement.
This insightful event proved to be more than a discussion. As ALforGovernance Sector Lead, Amanda Chukura puts it, “The objective of the call was to update ourselves on what the issues are in Nigeria and at the same time, understand the state of the continent right now.”
At the height of the #EndSARS movement on the 20th October, many other hashtags such as #EndHumanTraffickinginSA and #CongoIsBleeding, were trending online. As we write this, Cameroon is facing a resurgence in violence in the ongoing Anglophone crisis. Therefore, discussions such as this one are critical in helping us face the overwhelming emotions that come with seeing our continent in so much pain. “People are hurting so there was definitely a need to pause as an institution to check the pulse of our community so we can support each other and one way we did this was through this dialogue,” says Chukura.
The #EndSARS webinar, which featured Professor Babatunde Fagbayibo and youth activist Joshua Alade, was also an opportunity for our community to think about practical steps to move swiftly in action – a core tenet of our mission. How do we support young people who are at the forefront of grassroots movements in their respective communities? This is a central question the ALForGovernance sector seeks to answer not only through webinars, but essential masterclasses that have been held throughout this tumultuous year. Chukura asserts, “When the hashtag dies down we need to have systematic solutions that will help us tackle these large issues.”
At its core, the ALforGovernance sector seeks to establish a vibrant, pan-African, and connected ecosystem of ethical public leaders who will work together to build accountable institutions and strengthen governance across the African continent. Through deliberate programming, ALforGovernance looks to engage in dialogue, collaborate with the wider ALA network, contribute to research and policy work,and support businesses that help promote good governance, and provide professional opportunities for ALA alumni in governance and policy.
In addition, the sector aims to provide the necessary support alumni operating in the public sector need. Ultimately, it’s about ensuring young leaders such as Fatima Al Ansar, Cornelia Kruah-Togba, Eddy Oketch and other ALA alumni are equipped and supported to grow and excel in their leadership positions. “ We want to bring together our network,” says Chukura. “So many people are doing amazing things. They’re working in very challenging conditions but they are pushing through. We need to share their stories, provide support, and train them up into the roles they aspire to get into.”
The importance of our work has never been clearer. We remain committed to playing our role in building and ensuring good governance across Africa. It is a lifelong mission we believe will live on through the committed people who make up this community.
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