The project for development cooperation eu africa on social economy
THE PROJECT FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION EU-AFRICA ON SOCIAL ECONOMYVisionStimulate Africa’s development towards self sufficiency and economic powerhouse through social marketeconomy.PreambleAfrica is endowed with extreme wealth in the form of natural resources, diverse weather conditions and creativepeoples. Despite the abundance it contains, there still exists within it extreme levels of marginalisation anddeprivation among the majority of its population compared to other developing economic regions. The continent of Africa is estimated to have 7% of world oil reserve, 8% of natural gas reserves, 13% ofhydropower potential, daily solar radiation of 5-6 kW/m2, high wind energy potential, 9,000 MW of geothermalsources. It has abundance of mineral deposits including rare ones like coltan (57% of world production 2009),tungsten, platinum needed in the technology industry. Africa has high availability of arable land area withadequate water sources to sustain agriculture.Two thirds of the population is rural depending directly or indirectly on agriculture for employment andsustenance. However, modern infrastructure services are largely inaccessible to them which limits the methods,means and thereby productivity of their endeavours. It is estimated that 90% of the continents food supply isproduced by small holder rural farmers while 50% of the food insecure population are small holder farmers inaddition to the landless poor and urban poor.Despite the above highly adverse and heart breaking scenario, agriculture in Africa accounts for 60% ofemployment, 20% of total exports and accounts for 17% of GDP. The potential of agriculture towards Africa’sdevelopment has been recognised by both the AU and its various development partners. Increase in investment inagricultural investment by 10% to spur and sustain Africa’s growth ambition of 6% is part of vision captured inseveral plans including CAADP pillar 3 FAFS, AU strategy plan 2010-2015, AU/EU strategy plan 2010-2013 andseveral others.These efforts recognise that 26% of African households have no access to electricity, 58% have no access to cleanwater, 31% access to basic sanitation and only 18% of irrigation potential exploited. In comparison to otherdeveloping economies 70-90% have access to electricity, 80% to clean water while 90% to proper sanitation.The AU/NEPAD Strategy 2010-2015 states “Development in Africa would be meaningless if it is not centred on theempowerment and wellbeing of the people of Africa especially the marginalised and vulnerable groups andcommunities. Africa should invest in its human resources and ensure equitable access of its most disadvantagedand marginalised groups to social services especially rural areas”.This is reinforced by the following passage of the same document “ To address poverty and hunger across thecontinent, sustained agricultural growth must be a high priority of every African national and local government.Hunger undermines the health and people’s ability to study and work. It leaches away enterprise, intelligence andenergy. Hunger and malnourishment devastate children, stunting their potential as adults and making it more likelythat their offspring will have to endure the same lifelong cycle of deprivation and hunger.The challenges of productivity and profitability are not easily addressed, however. The underdeveloped agriculturalsector is characterised by poor farmers who are risk averse and do not have the resources to invest in new
technologies. There is over-reliance on primary agriculture often practised on soils with low fertility and subject toenvironmental degradation. About 95% of African agriculture is rain fed, thus making food production vulnerable toadverse weather patterns.Barriers to market access and penetration, such as poor market infrastructure and roads, lack of information,inadequate policies, insufficient extension services and lack of consistent market and phyto -sanitary standardsincrease the level of producer risk. With few resources to counter the risk, producers generally rely on traditionalmethods of production and risk mitigation strategies, such as small scale diversification, low cost input agricultureand marketing products at the farm-gate. Programmes such as Participation of African Nations in Sanitary and PhytosanitaryStandards Organisation (PAN-SPSO) and BecANet assist on a continent basis.Despite the Challenges facing Africans and African agriculture, the news is not all bad. During the past decade,Africa’s agrarian economies have been growing. GDP has averaged an increase of 6% per year and agriculturalproductivity has grown by 4-5% per year. Average poverty levels have dropped by about 6% and proportion ofunder-nourished Africans has declined from 36% to 32%”.Quoting further from the same report it says “Unlocking the potential for growth in Africa’s greatest asset is itsyouth. Education directly affects the quality and magnitude of Africa’s social development among its youth andother participants alike. It has also been regarded as the most potent weapon available for Africans to expandeconomic growth, raise living standards, have greater freedoms of choice and compete in a global economy”. Thisaspect has a correlation with agricultural performance.Social Enterprise in the EU.The Network of Social Enterprises URBACT II – Thematic Baseline Study October 2008 states that the widelyaccepted legal definition of Social Enterprises is “organisations with an explicit aim to benefit community, initiated by agroup of citizens and in which the material interest of capital investors is subject to limits. They place a high value on theirindependence and on economic risk-taking related to ongoing socio-economic activity.”The same report states “From the standpoint of macro-economy, social economy in Europe has a significant impacton both employment and economy in general. It is estimated that more than 11 million people are employed in thesector of social economy, ie. 6.7% of EU employees. These figures are significantly higher in the 15 “old” memberstates, where approximately 7% of employees work in the sector of social economy, whereas this rate issignificantly lower (i.e. 4.2%) in the 10 new member states”.Apart from creating employment and income, social enterprises have played a significant role in mobilizingdormant “human capital” towards national economic growth. The range of engagement is highly diverse, fromrehabilitation of infrastructure, preservation of the environment, rehabilitation of the marginalised in society,services to migrants and refugees, training and investments in both low and high technology. Thus socialenterprises span all sectors.The networks of social enterprises are extensive operating within themselves or in collaboration and support oflocal authorities, national governments and regional bodies or institution thereby facilitating cross-boarderexchanges. Within this facilitation of exchange occurred the interaction between the Barka and Chara Trust.The Barka Foundation based in Poznan, Poland has its origins in 1989 as a project rehabilitating the marginalised insociety. It has grown in stature and scope of operations influencing legislation, with projects spanning agriculture,
IT, hospitality, construction and repatriation of Polish migrants within the EU. Their work and operation model ishighly acclaimed within and out of the European Union.Chara Trust started its operations in Merseyside focussing on the Black Minority and Ethnic community butnetworking widely. The services to the community detailed separately have received wide acclaim. In its currentoffer of the “Steps to Success” funded by the EU through the Social Enterprise North West it had an engagementwith the Barka operations in Poznan as part of its Transnational exchange.The participants predominantly African in the three exchange visits between February and September 2011 werehighly impressed, captivated and enchanted by the content, variety and outcome of the operations in Poznan. Thedelegates all professionals keen in social enterprises included engineers, lawyers, IT, administrators, health andother disciplines. They were of various nationalities and regions of Africa, east, central, west and south.The value or capacity of economic and human transformation witnessed in the operations of Barka had asignificant effect on the visitors and the captivating interest was noted by the host organisation. Thus a seed wasborn, can this “transformative vision, idea, model and energising force” be transplanted to Africa?.A collaborative intent of a broad based partnership for ”The project for development cooperation EU-Africa onsocial economy” was conceived by the Barka Foundation, Chara Trust, Mr. Jerzy Mankowski of PolskieTowarzystwo Ziemianskie (Poland land Owners Association with 20 years experience of Cameroon), Dr. FilipKaczmarek, EMP (in Kenya at the time of the visit) and Dr. Killion Munyama, Member – Wielkopolska Parliament.The founding institutions and individuals to the initiative Barka Foundation led by Mr. Thomasz Sadowaski, CharaTrust by Mr. Godwin Bateren, Polskie Towarzytwo Ziemianskie by Mr. Jerzy Mankowski, Dr. Killion Munyama in theabsence of Dr. Filip Kaczmarek were hosted by Ms Elzbieta Malik, Office Director in the EMP office on 10 Set.2011where the acute need for intervention in Africa was agreed by all.The project envisaged to be “North South” initiative will be implemented across the entire continent of Africa withthe participation of 40 European and 40 African organizations. This project anticipates to be implemented by closeto 100 partners including local and national authorities both in Africa and the EU.Project CharacterWhile initially the project is rooted on the publication of the EESC “Opinion of the European Union on what role andperspectives for Africa’s social economy in development cooperation?” 2011/C 44/21) it was considered prudentto delve on wider views in the public domain interacting within or with Africa which would have relevance to theproject. The following were reviewed and add value 1. CAAD Pillar III; Framework for African Food Security (FAFS), March 2009 2. Communities and Local Government; Community Enterprise Strategic Framework, Feb. 2010 3. G8, L’Aquila Joint Statement on Global Food Security; L’Aquila Food Security initiative (AFSI), July 2009 4. G20, Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture, June 2011. 5. G20 Ministers of Agriculture Must focus on smallholder Farmers to Achieve Food Security and Prevent Food Price Volatility; Press statement, June 2011 6. Germany and Africa: A strategy Paper by the German Government. 7. Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015; (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction). 8. Joint Africa EU Strategy Action Plan 2011-2013 9. Nairobi Strategy – Enhanced Partnership to Eradicate Drought Emergencies; September 2011.
10. The Social Economy – Africa’s Response to the Global Crisis; ILO October 2009 th 11. Speech by Mr. Luca Jahier, 19 Session of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, 31 March 2010. 12. The AU/NEPAD African Action Plan 2010-2015, Advancing Regional and Continental Integration in Africa. 13. URBACT II – Thematic Network Baseline Study, Network of Social enterprises, October 2008Identification, selection and validation.While we have a talented multidiscipline group of African content in core partnership and wide source ofinformation above, there is need to validate the enumerated needs in Africa which the project will achieve thehighest impact and effectiveness. Without prejudice to the exploratory visit, the documentation points towardsagriculture where the Barka Foundation has working competence in rehabilitating neglected farming assets inPoland.Similarly it would be essential to meet potential partners both Government and Social Economy operatives inAfrica in order to establish working relationship as well as prioritise implementation parameters.This exploratory study visit of 10 – 14 days to 5 Africa countries in East, Central, South and West is proposedbetween December 2011 and January 2012. The visit would result firm project proposal of 3-5 years continentwide.Upon conclusion of the Africa visit, a detailed comprehensive project proposal for presentation to funders withinthe EU and beneficiary communities and governments in Africa will be drawn out by March 2012. In the meantime,where applicable, high impact projects identified during or within the evaluation window and sponsors (funders)are available would be implemented.Merseyside Barka/ Chara Trust Cooperation.Chara Trust and participating members have highly beneficial community based service in Merseyside. They areactively sensitising the BME community as well as indigenous population on the enormous potential availablethrough social enterprises. The efforts need support and encouragement.Further more the success of Barka in encouraging Polish migrants to return can be extended to African who couldhave better quality of life in Africa due to changed circumstances or the positive outcome of African project.Cooperation, linkage, funding of Merseyside operations through the Partnership formed is an area of high priority.