Times without number, many African people have felt short-changed by regional and international communities, especially during times when they are confronted by state repression among many other challenges. Regional and international groupings find themselves showing more solidarity with national leaders at the expense of the people.
From Zimbabwe, we often plead with the African Union and SADC to show more solidarity with the African people and not only with African leaders How can these international relationships be reconfigured to focus more on ordinary people than simply leaders? This is the question that we are bringing to the New Africa France Summit.
This year, on 8 October 2021, the government of France will host the New – Africa France Summit to question and redefine the fundamentals of the relationship between France and the African continent. While in the past, this summit used to bring heads of states, this year it brings ordinary people to dialogue with the French government. 7 delegates have been invited from Zimbabwe. These are drawn from media, academia, human rights, entrepreneurs and representatives of the informal economy. We believe this is a step in the right direction.
The unique nature of this summit raises critical questions on the future of international solidarity. It is an opportunity to reflect on the role of the media, informal economies and civic engagement in building a global people to people movement for human rights and development.
This is why, as Zimbabwe’s biggest grassroots movement of ordinary people, we care about what the summit represents for Africa and the world, and we have accepted with gratitude, the invitation by the government of France, to participate in this summit.
On the side-lines of the summit, together with other delegates from Zimbabwe, we will be hosting an important reflective meeting. The meeting will reflect on the dynamics between the international community and the situation of the ordinary person in Africa. It will navigate the possible avenues available in today’s connected world for communities to build a people to people global movement that has the capacity to push for more solidarity with the people in advancement of human rights and development.
Our diverse panel will feature colleagues from the media, informal sector and entrepreneurs. Please join us on Wednesday 6 October 2021 from 8PM on the ZimRights Twitter Space.