Civil society crucial for Africa's future, say global laureates

July 2014

A group of award-winning human rights campaigners, environmental activists and academics working in Africa and the Middle East say that a new drive to strengthen civil society is urgently needed to safeguard Africa’s future.

The group, comprising of recipients of the Right Livelihood Award (RLA, also known as “The Alternative Nobel Prize”), participated at a conference held in Egypt from 11 countries in the region to explore the crucial role that African civil society must play in building the best possible future for the continent, particularly in achieving food security and justice, reducing poverty, ending impunity and protecting the environment.

Over a four-day conference at the SEKEM farm (RLA Laureate 2003), from 6-9 June 2014, the RLA Laureates discussed issues ranging from human rights and justice, environmental destruction and the extractive industries, women’s health and safety, community development, as well as ecologically and socially sound agriculture. The conference provided a forum at which award recipients could share their ideas, voice their concerns and network with key changemakers in Africa. Sessions involved dialogue with local civil society organisations and strongly emphasised the sharing and promotion of practical solutions.

Information about the conference can be found here:

www.rightlivelihood.org/cairo2014.html

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