This week, This Is Africa is participating in the OpenForum in Cape Town, a gathering of activists, artists, academics, policy-makers and business people from the African continent and its diaspora as well as Brazil, India and China. Speakers and panelists include Joaquim Chissano (former President of Mozambique), Femi Kuti (Nigerian singer and political activist), Simphiwe Dana (South African singer and social activist) and Binyavanga Wainana (Kenyan author and social commentator). Leading up to the OpenForum, TIA organized radio debates with Ghetto Radio in Nairobi, XFM and YFM in Accra and Bush Radio in Cape Town around the themes of the Forum.
Money, Power & Sex: the Paradox of Unequal Growth
The three-day event, which is co-hosted by the four Open Society Africa Foundations, intends to provide a platform to discuss the factors that will influence Africa’s democracy, development, human rights and governance agenda over the next decade. The OpenForum focuses particularly on the roles of India, Brazil and China as drivers of growth on the continent, but increasingly as important actors in the political and social affairs of African countries.
Additionally, there's an interest in how inequality – across money, power and sex – affects young people. In the shadow of the North African and Arab Spring revolutions, the Africa Foundations look at who is being left behind as the race for resources plays itself out in Africa, and who is being pushed aside. A Youth Summit was organized on 21 May, the day before the main OpenForum, with young activists, journalists and writers from all over the continent and the diaspora.
In collaboration with OSISA and local youth radio stations in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, This Is Africa produced three radio debates around the theme of the OpenForum. In South Africa, the debate was held at Bush Radio, the oldest community radio station in Africa with hosts Shamiel Adams and Bassie Montewa. The Ghanaian debate was aired live on XFM and rebroadcast on YFM with host Kojo Mensah, and in Kenya it was Linda Ochana at Ghetto Radio 89.5 who hosted the debate in her morning show. Stay tuned to TIA to listen back to the debates online. Altogether, 12 guests representing community based youth projects, media, literary publications and musical groups exchanged thoughts about the promises and challenges of democracy in Africa.
The OpenForum takes place at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town from 22 to 24 May 2012. The full program can be downloaded from the www.openforum.net website. Also see the OSISA website and follow the @OpenForum2012 account on Twitter, or use the #moneypowersex hash tag.