Posts byBritta Niklas

Call for applications – International Alumni Conference

The South African-German Centre for Development Research (SA-GER CDR) at UWC/Cape Town (South Africa) together with the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE) of Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) is happy to host the international conference

“Tackling the root causes of displacement in Sub Sahara Africa”
taking place 26 November – 01 December 2017 in Cape Town/South Africa

Alumni of diverse study programmes at the South African-German Centre for Development Research at UWC/Cape Town, the Ghanaian-German Centre for Development Studies at the University of Ghana, the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam, the Namibian-German Centre for Logistics at Namibia University of Science and Technology/Windhoek, the South African-German Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice at UWC/Cape Town, the Congolese-German Centre for Microfinance at the Congo Protestant University/Kinshasa, the East and South African-German Centre for Educational Research at the Moi-University/Eldoret (Kenya) and the Kenyan Centre for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management at Taita Taveta University College/Voi are invited to participate at the conference, contributing actively by sharing their experiences and knowledge concerning the abovementioned points of interest.

On four days, approximately 50 conference participants – practitioners, researchers and students – will discuss different aspects of the topic, introduced by invited speakers of relevant organizations (UNHCR, IOM) who will present the current status and consequences of displacement in Sub-Sahara Africa and reflect on the role of (regular and irregular) migration in relation to displacement. The African Excellence Centres will introduce their areas of expertise and their link to the conference topic and will integrate their recent research activities and the professional experience of participating Alumni.

The conference is financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

For more information please have a look at the detailed Call.
For inquiries, please refer to Britta Niklas (alumni_african-excellence@drd-sa.org).

New Publications at the South African-German Centre for Development Research

davison-muchadenyika

Davison Muchadenyika, PhD candidate at the SA-GER CDR published a new paper titled ‘Multi-Donor Trust Funds and Fragile States: Assessing the Aid Effectiveness of the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund’.

Research for this paper was largely conducted during Davison worked on his Master thesis for the Bochum Programme of Development Management.

Davison is one of the most active PhD students regarding puplications and already published 3 papers in 2015:

Muchadenyika, D. 2015. Land for Housing: A Political Resource – Reflections from Zimbabwe’s urban areas. Journal of Southern African Studies, 41 (6): 1219-1238.

Muchadenyika, D. 2015. Women Struggles and Large-scale Diamond Mining in Marange, Zimbabwe. The Extractive Industries and Society, 2 (2015): 714-721.

Muchadenyika, D. 2015. Slum Upgrading and Inclusive Municipal Governance in Harare, Zimbabwe: New Perspectives for the Urban Poor. Habitat International, 48 (2015): 1-10.

 

New Scholarship holders selected for the intake 2017!

Protests at South African Universities

For the intake 2017 the selection committee of the SA-GER CDR selected 4 Master and 2 Phd Students out of 230 Master and 196 PhD applications to commence their studies at the South African-German Centre for Development Research in January 2017.

We hope that they will be able to start their studies in january 2017 in time, as current scholarship holders are severly affected by the student protests against the rais of student fees at South African Universities (8% increase was announced by the government) and the closure of the University of the Western Cape (UWC). UWC, like many other universities in South Africa, closed  in order to avoid violent riots.

 

Photo by Ashraf Hendricks
Photo by Ashraf Hendricks

On the other hand a lot of students and as well parents demonstrate for the (re)opening of universities.
We hope that universities will open again soon and that the „fee problem“ will be solved in due time.

Alumni SA-GER CDR: My Experience as a MILEAD 2015 Fellow

Chifundo Patience Chilera, MADM graduate and South African-German Centre for Development Research (SA-GER CDR) scholarship holder from Malawi from the 2012-2014 intake, has been selected as a fellow of one of Africa’s most influential young women leadership initiatives. She shares her experience of being a fellow of such a distinguished group.

In May 2015, the Moremi Initiative for Women Leadership In Africa named me as one of 26 Most Outstanding Emerging Young Women Leaders in Africa and by virtue, I was awarded the 2015 Moremi Initiative for Leadership Empowerment And Development (MILEAD) Fellowship to attend the Leadership Institute hosted at the University of Ghana.

Leadership Institute event

The Leadership Institute was an event that lasted three weeks. Every day, we were visited by distinguished speakers. We got to hear and learn from accomplished entrepreneurs, ranging from software developers to management consultants to social entrepreneurs; and from distinguished professors, leaders in the third sector, the corporate sector, and government officials. We also met with some of Ghana’s finest young professionals and even the boxing legend, Azumah Nelson, who is considered Africa’s greatest boxers of all time, came to spend some time with us. We had a crash course on what seemed to be everything: feminist theories, African history, photography, writing, organisational development, politics, personal motivation, public speaking, business management, civic leadership, environment, public health, fundraising, even Pilates. There were field visits to the World Bank Office and the Africa Women Development Fund headquarters in Ghana. There were also excursions to the historical Cape Coast and we got to tour the Kakum National Park, which is covered in the tropical rainforest and has a canopy walkway that is 350 meters long- I dare you to try this.

The Community of Fellows

Despite the many accomplished speakers and mentors we had, the true richness of being a MILEAD Fellow lies in being part of the community of Fellows. I have learned so much more from the 25 other Fellows I spent the time with in Ghana and continue to benefit from belonging to the wider community of about 200 Fellows from 7 cohorts, representing 44 countries.
MILEAD Experience Gruppenfotos
MILEAD class of 2015 (photo: private).

My peers in the class of 2015 were truly outstanding. Some were founders of initiatives that are making strides in leading community development and promoting the lives of women and girls. For example, one of the Fellows is an award winning young woman, who was born HIV positive and now runs an organisation called The Innocent League Uganda, raising awareness about the disease and provides counselling to young people. Another is a 13-time award-winning philanthropist who runs her own charity that sponsors the education of about 500 children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Zambia. Another is a local government councillor who also runs a non-profit organization supporting women and girls in her ward in Ghana. There was another woman from Malawi, who now runs a centre that provides physiotherapy and social support to women with children that suffer from cerebral palsy. Others were outstanding scholars from leading universities across the world, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and even doctorate studies in fields such as architecture, actuarial sciences, law, and medicine, and young professionals in the corporate sector, government and non-profit sectors.
Each one of us was at a different phase of our personal progress. While some Fellows were just starting out, some had already established their organisations from as young as 16 years of age and had made strides in their careers. And while some of us were focused on policy at the international or national levels, the work of some Fellows was community-based. We came from all over Africa and the diaspora. There were not enough dinner time conversations to allow us to tap into the depths of the wealth of experiences and passion and ambition that made the Class of 2015. I was literally overwhelmed every day, basking in such greatness.

Representing group at UN Dialogue

During my time in Ghana, I also had the opportunity to represent my year group of the UN Women Africa Rising Gender Equality Dialogue on Ending Child Marriage through Young Women’s Leadership & Activism. It was a privilege to be among the contributors to the dialogue, including Nyaradzyi Gumbonzvanda (African Union Goodwill Ambassador for Campaign to End Child Marriage), Nana Oye Lithur (Minister of Women, Children & Social Protection of Ghana), Diana Ofwona (UN Women West and Central Africa Regional Director), and Mawuli Dake (African Human Rights Advocate and also the co-founder of the Moremi Initiative).

Not like any other leadership programme

Taken at face-value, the MILEAD Fellowship programme may appear to be just like any other leadership programme for African Women. It is not.

The MILEAD Fellowship is more than the three weeks spent at the Leadership Institute. In the year following the award, Fellows design and are expected to deliver a community change project, branded as MiChange Projects. Some projects have been about introducing innovative ways to deliver the Fellow’s already existing projects. Other projects have been new establishments in response to the needs in the Fellow’s community. There have been over one hundred new MiChange projects that have been initiated, most of which have evolved and are still ongoing projects. In 2013, two Michange projects were listed for the World Youth Summit Awards, and one of which won the award. My MiChange project is called MiStory. My goal is to document and profile the stories and projects of MILEAD Fellows through a series of blogs and social media, with the ain of creating a peer-to-peer sharing hub for knowledge and experience of young people leading change. Ultimately, I hope to compile a coffee table book that will showcase the cadre of youthful women leadership that Africa has – a selection of whom have been mobilised and mentored through the MILEAD Fellowship.

On-going commitment and new opportunities

The MILEAD Fellowship is not a one-off moment that passes with time. There is seemingly no end to being a MILEAD Fellow, with a constant stream of open opportunities. Recently, through the Moremi Initiative, I was invited to speak at the United Nations 60th Session of the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW) as one of the MILEAD Fellows, at the UN Headquarters in New York. CSW, a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council, is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. I spoke at the session: “Enhancing Young Women’s Voices for Women’s Empowerment and Sustainable Development: A Multi-generational Dialogue with Emerging African Women Leaders”, which was co-hosted by the Government of Ghana, and the Moremi Initiative to an audience of over 300 people. I, like the other Fellows on the panel, engaged the audience in a discussion about strategies for promoting women’s right and equality, led by young women based on our experiences. We were also exclusively invited to be part of the Africa Women Development Fund Gala, where we met and were mentored by a group of African Women that have financed women-led initiatives in Africa by providing over 20 million USD in grants over the last 10 years.
Being a MILEAD Fellow opens many doors. There are Fellows who have been part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, and some make it to spaces such as UN Advisory Groups.
There is not a single thing that sums up the making of a leader; but for me, the MILEAD Fellowship has been one of the most impactful opportunities ever granted me, a gift that keeps on giving. I belong to a community of young women who understand that the power to lead is the commitment to serve. And serve we do.

by Chifundo Patience Chilera