As a nascent movement, we are a learning organisation and are constantly navigating the conventional action ecosystems in Africa in order to break away from what might not be impactful to our communities. The Unlearning Workshop took place in Arusha, Tanzania at the Training Centre for Development Cooperation MS-TCDC and it was an opportunity for Africans Rising Interim Working Group and Core Team to unpack our vision and revisit our goals. The gathering brought together the two groups for the first time in the movement's history, thus allowing for collaboration and team building through unlearning ineffective methods of movement building and relearn organising tactics. We managed to reconnect as a team after months of working virtually and we were inspired to continue seeking genuine growth and impact for years to come.
During multiple sessions, the participants discussed innovative mobilization and fundraising approaches to secure sustainable funding for the movement. Other discussion involved membership and team management strategies by developing a movement code of conduct and other relevant policies. The team interacted and exchanged ideas with experts on cybersecurity, fundraising, engendering movement building and non-violent community. We then embarked on multiple field trips across the town of Arusha and we visited inspiring Africans who are shaping their communities including the United African Alliance Community Center (UAACC) team, which was co-founded by Charlotte Hill O’Neal aka Mama C, a visual and spoken word artist, musician, longtime community activist and a legendary Panther in Africa.
Africans Rising Founding Chair, Kumi Naidoo, fueled us with a tremendous deal of inspiration when he addressed the team and explored with us his reassessment of the movement's future. Kumi stressed that the structural and systemic challenges across the continent, including land grabs, climate change, shrinking political space, corruption and illicit financial flows are opportunities for Africans Rising to be a lead innovator and motivator for Africans. He urged us to engage in bold approaches that can contend with these emerging, mutually reinforcing and existential threats and phenomena. "We need the best minds from the Continent and the Diaspora to work together to develop plans to address these phenomena at the local and continental level," Kumi affirmed.
By the end of Kumi's intervention, we were utterly convinced that these challenges will not and cannot be resolved by conventional approaches, these challenges can only be solved by a collective power that recognizes no limit. In the words of Kumi Naidoo, "Activism should not be intellectual to the point that it alienates rather than includes—it should be comprehensible, simple, clear and understandable." He then proceeded to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and filled our hearts with joy and pride when he reached to summit of such a glorious African mountain.
Africans Rising will continue working towards creating a human-centred institution that speaks to other human beings with respect and mutual understanding.