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My reflection and take away after 4 days of IP3 learning and review meeting

Zakaria Sambakhe Acting CD Senegal/IP3 Champion

Zakaria Sambakhe, Country Director ActionAid Senegal, the IP3 champion

As part of ActionAid International global engagement to fight injustice and to promote human rights the next 10 years, the IP3 learning and review meeting was for me an opportunity to have conversion with different workstream members and external Allies such:  Alliance for food sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) Africa Centre for Biodiversity, on how we are shifting power. The changing in the context we are seeing from year to year, from country to country especially in Africa and some part of Asia even in Europe showed the necessity to build strong and credible coalition to challenge the neoliberalism system and change the narrative in a more human right base perspective. The promotion of credible alternatives for social and equitable transformation in the lives of women and young people is key for shift power in different context.   It’s have been clearly demonstrated in our programme framework that the connection from local national to global environment, enable us to build strong solidarity between communities and civil society organizations. We also learnt from experience that solidarity with movements helped to create a critical mass to change mindset and influence policies in different agriculture sectors. The articulation between all domains or elements of our theory of change is critical looking the complexity of different face of power we are dealing with. We can see that each country from what they presented are contributed a lot to empower women farmers, that make me proud as champion of this platform.  Since this learning meeting is not the end of our journey, we felt that it was very important in our mandate to share the impact of our work more particularly how we are accountable to communities, des supporters, to our self.  That is why we call ActionAid International a learning organization grounded into communities use Human Right Base Approach to design our programme framework and operational plan to implement activities to make deeper change.

Why we are engaging as a federation   to promote sustainable natural resources  

The IP3 is call Resilience Livelihoods and climate justice, because from food sovereignty perspectives natural resource is a key facture to improve livelihood and achieved development. But we can say that in all over the world we can see different form of conflicts because accessing and controlling resources (land water, forest, seed, mining, etc.) are always a challenge for women and more vulnerable people.  We always say that who control the resources control the power. From Human right perspective women and men are born equal and provision have been made different UN conventions as well as regional and national laws and policies. What we observe, is that decision makers are reforming national laws more often to satisfy multinationals, transnational corporates interest and promote industrial agricultural at the same time undermine people right especially against women access and control over resources. As ActionAid we have a concern and this preoccupation come out clearly during the presentations from different country programme. Concretely governments are signing agreement without consulting in advance people in the community also without any fair compensation. It’s most of the time result on deforestation, loss of biodiversity, people displacement by using violence, killing human rights defenders or criminalizing them,

The power of knowledge helped women to making the different, that make me proud  

The reflection and conversion we had in Johannesburg was a combination of plenary discussion, case studies and gallery work during. This learning   and review meeting showed sometime that change is iterative, it cannot happen in one day or with one single activity. It’s mainly a matter of having a good programme framework, but also   combination of different capacity building activities at different level with different targets including the decision markers, and communities’ leaders. It became more complex when it has to do with social morn and corporates accountability.  We can also see from various activities that countries carried out in the ground from the last 2 years, how the power of knowledge (women empowerment) is key for positive relationship transformation between women and man in some communities. In Myanmar, in Ghana, Senegal, Vietnam, Brazil,  Nigeria, Nepal, Malawi concrete examples  in term of strengthen  women capacities give them  knowledge and power to better  improve  their right to decide what type of farmers  seed that want to harvest, with that knowledge they are able to express their leadership on access to market,  they are able to manage early warning system, they can increase their voices in the management of  water, forests resources and support communities to be food sufficiency. They also show strengthen in managing community seed and cereal banks as a result of their capacity building facilitated by communities’ seed expert. In the past two years of the IP3 programme implementation we learnt that even if women have knowledge, they still faced some difficulties to challenge especially invisible and hidden power at local level. One of the recommendations could be to put more emphasis on building solidarity with social movement, work strongly with men champion, and communities’ leaders to amplify the shifting power   strengthen the linkage between local, national and global;

My take away from the IP3 learning meeting   

  • I have a strong believe that if we document all the nice stories of changes from different countries from different workstream and put it as a learning pieces with communities and movements owning that will be a very big positive social transformation in our efforts to shift visible, invisible and hidden power (power of knowledge). 
  • We need to continue building a strong relationship with movements, young people movements and other CSOs that are working in the same sectors to have critical mass and amplify the impact of our work at local, national regional and global level;
  • We need also to raise our profile trough a good communication and improve our visibility at all level to be able to hold our self and others accountable.
  • We need to improve our fundraising efforts to be able to recruit and retain competent Human resources, to continue strengthen women farmers and influence national, regional and global laws and policies for the interest of poor and vulnerable people.

The power of knowledge

Zakaria Sambakhe

Country Director ActionAid Senegal

IP3 champion