(I maintain that “traditional” gender roles haven’t been adequately explored as the root cause of many intersecting societal problems, e.g. sexism and homophobia, and that Africans — straight or gay — should work together towards their elimination if we stand for true progress.Here’s my explanation.)
The artist Laolu Senbanjo obtained his LL.B (Hons) degree at the University of Ilorin, all the while honing his ‘Afromysteric’ art. After being called to the Nigerian Bar in 2007, he decided to face his career as an artist and has since been part…
The podcast featured four LGBT Africans in the Diaspora, a few of which described themselves as gender non-conforming. Shortly afterwards, I received a really sweet message from someone who had listened to the podcast. It read as follows:
The discussions around Sex will focus on gender inequality and homophobia and the extent to which both continue to define virtually every society on the continent - and on the extent to which (a) the LGBTI movement (and other social movements) can learn and benefit from the gains of the women’s movement; and (b) new economic challenges intersect with the civil and political rights agendas that have traditionally been the domain of women’s groups and the LGBTI movement. Participants will also debate how to support social movements in a context of growing inequalities, where activists have fewer financial resources and are simultaneously required to address growing social discrimination.
Discussions on Power will focus on (a) what the Arab Uprisings can teach sub-Saharan Africa about political transitions, as well as what limitations these uprisings have faced; (b) what the rise of the BRICS countries mean for African politics and African politicians; (c) whether human rights and good governance – increasingly held up as pre-conditions for aid from Western countries in the last two decades – are likely to suffer as a result of increased economic and development assistance from the emerging powers; and lastly (d) where the new thought leadership and activism will come from to address the political and economic inequalities that continue to plague the continent.
Discussions on Money will focus on the fact that across the continent, current models of economic development are heavily reliant on (a) the extraction and/or unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; (b) the introduction of commercial models of agriculture that either impoverish or exclude rural poor people; (c) the concession of large tracts of land; and, (d) the negotiation of ports, power supplies, railways, and other important infrastructure, in ways that undermine the capacity of African states to manage their own affairs.
The verb ‘to be’ is the starting point of almost every Germanic Language and so I therefore find it fitting to begin here. Today we shall learn how to conjugate the verb ‘to be’ in pidgin english which translates as ‘to dey’.
There will also be a comprehensive social media outreach programme during the OpenForum so that people who are unable to attend can still be part of the event – listening to the debates, joining the discussion online, hearing interviews with key thinkers, reading OpenForum papers and learning new skills.
The OpenForum will include space for exhibitions and poster sessions – as well as opportunities in the late afternoon/early evening for networking and socialising. There will also be a chance to screen documentaries and host art exhibitions.
Organisations will have to submit an application to hold exhibitions or screen new films.
These parallel afternoon sessions (each involving up to 50 people) will focus on practical skills building. Coordinated by the OpenForum’s technical partners, the workshops/ skills-building sessions will focus on technology, innovation and new ways of doing things.
Organisations will have to submit an application to conduct listen and learn sessions.
Run as a series of parallel sessions (each involving up to 50 people) in the early afternoon, these will provide a space for organisations – particularly those working on human rights and development issues – to showcase successful and innovative new initiatives and projects. The sessions will also be open to those who have new strategies or networks that they would like to profile or develop – and to those who need a space to test an idea or launch critical new research.
Organisations will have to submit an application to showcase their ideas.
After each plenary, there will be three parallel sessions focusing on key sub-themes within Money, Power and Sex. Open to around 150 people each, these mid-morning sessions will take the plenary discussion further by stimulating debate on critical aspects of the overall theme, providing the speakers and audience with the chance to really engage each topic.
A plenary session will kick off each day’s proceedings. Attracting high-profile speakers and thinkers on Africa, the daily plenary will take place in the main 500-seat auditorium and shape the discussion for the day. Each Big Idea plenary will be run as a moderated discussion, either in a panel or an interview format.