Sonita Mbah, Executive Secretary of GEN Africa, reports.
From it’s inception in 2012 until today, GEN Africa has been growing from strength to strength, maximizing its potential in meeting the needs of grassroot communities, improving on the core structure, and showing capacity to manage and build on challenges.
More than 50 participants from over 23 countries including Europe and Africa, met at Ghana Permaculture Institute in Techiman, Ghana, from December 1-6, 2016, to reflect, evaluate and celebrate the year while developing actions for 2017. The network benefited from the diverse participation of its members, leading to the following outcomes:
- We developed new targets for 2017.
- We drafted an organizational structure for GEN Africa.
- We recruited a volunteer office secretary for the Senegal office.
- We updated and blessed GEN Africa membership structure.
- We worked on concrete projects and developed next steps for the Pan African Ecovillage Development Programme (PAEDP).
- We shared learnings, experience and outcomes from COP22.
- We developed 5 working groups: fundraising, project management, ICT, membership and legal.
- We made a field visit to the “Tano Sacred Grove”.
- And we held a General Assembly where new council members were elected.
GEN Africa continues to build on its first encounter with Government officials in Dakar, Senegal in December 2014. In April 2016, it was at the African Ministers of Environment conference (AMCEN), held in Egypt. Side events organized by GEN during this meeting led to Ministers in countries such as Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and The Gambia, taking special interest in the network and now advancing concrete steps to implement Ecovillages in their countries.
This was further built on at COP22 in November 2016 in Morocco. GEN Africa left a positive impact by presenting successful Ecovillage practices in Africa, showcasing the PAEDP and enrolling government representatives to use the Ecovillage strategies in the implementation of their Sustainable Development Plans.
Work on the ground in different countries continues to be of high value to the network. The list below outlines some of the remarkable projects that have been implemented in 2016:
- Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) Courses in DR. Congo, The Gambia, Cameroon and Ghana.
- National network conferences in Ghana by GEN Ghana.
- 3 Dragon Dreaming Trainings in Namibia, Swaziland and Cameroon.
- Greening Schools project in Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The support of a paid Executive Secretary has been instrumental in enhancing development at project, national and regional levels. Special thanks to all national networks, members, friends and partners – especially the German Foreign Ministry – for the ceaseless trust and support in taking GEN Africa forward. And to the GEN Africa council (Niveen Adel, Ousmane Pame, Mugove Walter, Linda Kabaira, Joshua Konkankoh and Paul Yeboah), for their dedication and commitment in bringing us this far.
It only gets better!
Sonita Mbah Executive Secretary of GEN Africa GEN Africa: www.gen-africa.org