ACF co-host the panel “Challenging Africa’s Perceptions: A Feminist Perspective”

The Africa-Canada Forum (ACF) hosted a workshop entitled “Challenging Africa’s Perceptions: A Feminist Perspective” during CCIC’s Annual Conference in Ottawa on October 19, 2018.

The panel, jointly organized by the Africa Canada Forum (ACF), the CASID-CCIC Next Generation for collaboration and MATCH International Women’s Fund, explored the question of how can we challenge “the single story” narrative of Africa in Canada? What are the implications of the African story as a “miserable and poor” continent for humanitarian action and international solidarity? What are the unseen gender dynamics behind the “single story?”

Tackling these pressing questions were panelists Theo Sowa of the African Women’ Development fund, Gisèle Baraka Bashige, journalist and program officer at Associations des Femmes des Médias (AFEM-RDC), and Ketty Nivyabandi of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Moderating the panel was former Radio-Canada’s correspondent for Africa, Sophie Langlois.

ACF contact

Sebastián Vielmas
Regional Working Group Officer
Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)
+1 613 241 7007 Poste/Ext. 321 |

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South Sudan Co-Lab hosted by Global Affairs Canada in partnership with the Africa-Canada Forum of CCIC

South Sudan Co-Lab hosted by Global Affairs Canada in partnership with the Africa-Canada Forum of CCIC

On 21 September, Global Affairs Canada’s South Sudan development division hosted an interactive, full-day pilot “Co-Lab” with nine CSOs from the CCIC’s Africa-Canada Forum. GAC staff from across Sub-Saharan Africa, International Security and Political Affairs, and Global Issues and Development branches and CSO representatives exchanged experiences on Canada’s collective response to the challenges in South Sudan from both a government and civil society perspective.

Looking to ground the day with personal experiences, participants first shared photos that describe resilience in South Sudan. Participants reminded each other that success may look different in a fragile state and that despite the hardships, South Sudanese continue to demonstrate strong resilience.

With the Feminist International Assistance Policy as an overarching theme and an integrated approach to Canada’s engagement in mind, participants discussed the intersectionality of gender equality, including the role of ethnicity, income, and education and how to address these factors in gender responsive programming. CSOs highlighted that GAC’s new policy has caused them to increase their efforts to understand the cross-cutting sector, which has had positive influence on their programming.

The group also exchanged perspectives of meaningful and inclusive peace building and how to support conflict resolution at local and national levels. CSOs shared their experiences using peace champions across ethnic lines to support the creation of a culture of peace.

In the final session, participants brainstormed programming opportunities to build resilience and assessed the potential impact and feasibility of proposed ideas using interactive tools. This resulted in creative programming ideas to strengthen resilience across all programming areas (e.g. food security, health, etc.), and included ideas such as the use of sport and music in conflict resolution among youth.

Concluding with a participative evaluation, partners expressed gratitude for the collaborative atmosphere and the open and frank discussions that helped both government and civil society organizations better understand the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and the particular challenges of working in a fragile and conflict-affected state.

This was the first time a bilateral development program of GAC has engaged directly with Africa-Canada Forum (ACF) member organizations. Typically, the ACF gathers at the Branch level at the annual GAC-ACF Joint Dialogue (taking place this year in December). The ACF is a working group of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation that brings together more than 40 NGOs, churches, unions and solidarity groups that have an interest in development issues and social justice in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Given the success of the pilot, Africa Branch of GAC will explore hosting Co-Labs with other bilateral programs.

Both GAC and ACF thanks the Collaboration Centre and Fodé Beaudet and Hugo Bastidas from the Centre for Learning in Intercultural Effectiveness and International Assistance Policy for their excellent facilitation.

* This post has been drafted from the report prepared by Diane Tisdall, Development Officer of the South Sudan Development Division—Global Affairs Canada. The Africa-Canada Forum of the CCIC thanks her for her hard work organizing this Co-Lab.

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GAC and CCIC-ACF Dialogue 2017: Report on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

On October 12, 2017, the Africa-Canada Forum (ACF) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) organized a half-day dialogue meeting in Ottawa on the Feminist International Assistance Policy. This event was part of a series of dialogue meetings between the two groups that began in December 2015. The main goal of these exchanges is to create a space where ACF and GAC can discuss and collaborate on issues related to Africa, leveraging expertise on both sides.

We are pleased to share with you the joint report prepared by CCIC and GAC staff.


Dialogue-ACF.GAC.Report English FINAL

Parliamentary Strategy Workshop for members of the Africa-Canada Forum

On November 22, 37 members of CCIC’s Regional Working Groups gathered at the offices of WUSC in Ottawa to learn more on how to build successful relationships with Members of Parliament and advocate effectively for their issues.

Both newcomers and experienced members expressed their satisfaction with the analysis of the current political context provided by Velma McColl, Managing Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group and by Shaughn McArthur, Advocacy and Government Relations Advisor at CARE Canada.

They also appreciated the hands-on tips provided by political staffer Tom Allen, Assistant to MP Cheryl Hardcastle. And the highlight of the workshop was the candid discussion with special guest Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West — Nepean.

The workshop ended with separate strategy sessions for each region: The Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific.