African Social Venture Prize

The Orange African Social Venture Prize will reward three projects or enterprises addressing needs of the ‘bottom of pyramid’ market in Africa through technology.

The digital projects range from e-health and mobile banking to digital and mobile applications for education or agriculture. They therefore represent huge opportunities for social development.

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2012 MILEAD Fellowship for young African women leaders – Call For Applications

Who is the most outstanding young African woman leader you know ?

Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa (Moremi Initiative) has announced its call for applications for the 2012 Moremi Leadership Empowerment and Development (MILEAD) Fellows Program.

The MILEAD Fellows Program is a one-year leadership development program designed to identify, develop and promote emerging young African Women leaders to attain and succeed in leadership in their community and Africa as a whole. The program targets dynamic young women interested in developing transformational leadership skills that help them tackle issues affecting women in their communities and society as a whole- by equipping them with the world class knowledge, skills, values and networks they need to succeed as 21st century women leaders. Applications are welcome from young African women living in Africa and the Diaspora.

The MILEAD Fellowship will be awarded to 25 outstanding young women with exceptional qualities who have exhibited leadership potential in their community, organization, and/or profession.

To be eligible for the one-year program, an applicant must be African, living on the continent or in the Diaspora; agree to participate in all required activities related to MILEA- including a three-week residential Summer Institute in Ghana; and commit to a community change project.

Applicants must be between 19 – 25 years of age. Specific requirements of the program and related dates are outlined in the application package. Please review program and application guidelines carefully, before completing your application.

Please note that this is not a full-time fellowship. Selected candidates may remain full time students or work full time for the program duration, except during the 3–week summer institute. The 3-week summer institute is an intensive and full-time residential program and all fellows will be required to attend. The rest of the program involves community-based, online and other distance activities.

How to Apply:

The application package and additional information is available online at www.moremiinitiative.org

Application forms must be downloaded and filled-out in word document format. Completed application form must be submitted with two letters of recommendation and CV. All applications and supporting documents must be submitted by email.

Deadline for applications. March 15th 2012.

Find more fellowship opportunities

A.J. Muste Memorial Fund, International Nonviolence Training Grants – Call for Applications

The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute funds projects which promote the principles and practice of nonviolent social change through grantmaking programs including the International Nonviolence Training Fund (INTF).

The INTF was created in 1994 by a group of concerned donors with the aim of specifically supporting nonviolence trainings. (For information about our other grantmaking programs, please see the grants page on http://www.ajmuste.org/ajgrants.html )

Nonviolence trainings seek to help people develop and improve the skills they need to confront systemic injustice through organized, principled, nonviolent action. Trainings promote the exchange of ideas, information, and strategies, through which activists can become more effective at using nonviolent action in their struggles.

INTF GRANTMAKING PRIORITIES

The INTF supports nonviolence training outside the United States, and within Native nations in the US.

Projects eligible for support include:

  • Those which build capacity and leadership among people engaged in nonviolent struggles;
  • Those which prepare participants for specific nonviolent actions or campaigns;
  • Those geared to “training the trainers,” in order to expand and multiply nonviolence training throughout a targeted community.

Preference is given to:

  • Projects which involve trainers from the local area or region, where such trainers are available.
  • Groups which are small, community-based and have less access to funding from other sources.

The maximum grant amount is US$3,000.

The INTF does not fund:

  • Trainings which are geared primarily toward resolving conflicts between individuals, building life skills or job skills, or achieving personal empowerment or economic independence.
  • Conflict resolution or violence reduction programs which do not directly promote activism for social justice.
  • Scholarships or other funding for people to travel abroad to attend courses or training sessions.
  • Trainings with budgets over US$50,000, or organizations with annual budgets over US$500,000.

The Muste Institute can and does directly fund organizations which do not have their own 501(c)3 non-profit tax-exempt status, and/or which are not incorporated. The only time the Institute requires a fiscal sponsor is if the organization does not have its own bank account. If you cannot receive a grant directly (with the grant check made out to the name of your organization), please indicate this in your proposal and include information about your fiscal sponsor, including a letter indicating the sponsor’s tax-exempt status and some basic information such as a brochure or brief annual report.

WHEN TO APPLY TO THE INTF

The next deadlines for proposals for the International Nonviolence Training Fund is December 2nd 2011.

The review and decision process takes approximately four months.

The INTF does not consider proposals for trainings which will have already taken place by the time its decision is made, so you are urged to apply at least four to five months before your training is set to begin, especially if you need preparation time for the training after notification of the grant decision.

Groups which receive INTF grants must generally wait two years before applying again to the INTF.

HOW TO APPLY TO THE INTF

To submit a proposal, fill out completely the INTF Grant Application Form: http://ajmuste.org/INTFGrantApplicationForm.doc

Email the completed form (preferably in MS Word or RTF format) with all required attachments to intf(at)ajmuste.org  with the subject line “INTF:” followed by the name of your group.

NOTE: If you are awarded a grant, you will have to provide a complete financial accounting for all funds received from the Muste Institute, demonstrating that they were used in accord with the grant agreement. This accounting is due as soon as the money is spent or within six months, whichever comes first. If funds from a grant remain unspent after six months, you must submit an updated accounting every six months until the complete grant is spent. This financial accounting should be accompanied by copies of materials produced with Institute funds, and a brief narrative report on the project.

Go to http://www.yipekenya.org/News.htm to find more grant opportunities

Scholarship opportunities to pursue Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Programs in the Czech Republic

The Government of the Czech Republic is seeking applications from eligible candidates in developing countries for scholarships to pursue studies at public institutions of higher education in the Czech Republic for the academic year 2012-2013.

A number of scholarships are offered every year to foreign nationals within the framework of country’s Foreign Development Assistance Program in support of Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral study programs.

These Government Scholarships are designed to cover the standard length of study of the respective program.

 

Scholarship courses and duration

Within its international development co-operation, the Czech Republic provides scholarships to study:

in Czech language:

 

  • Bachelor’s degree programs (three to four years)
  • Master’s degree programs (four to six years)

 

in English:

 

  • Follow-up Master’s degree programs (one to three years)
  • Doctoral degree programs (three to four years);

The language and preparatory studies are organized by the Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies of the Charles University (1 year, only for applicants for a scholarship to study in Czech)

 

Educational Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in the CR requires prior completion of secondary or full secondary vocational education equivalent to the GCSE in the Czech Republic.

Admission to the Follow-up Master’s program also requires prior successful completion of the Bachelor’s program.

 

Fields of Study and Admission Procedure

While awarding scholarships to study in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in the Czech language, the list of recommended fields of study is taken into consideration. The list is updated to fit the needs of a particular country and with regard to the ongoing development co-operation projects.

For Bachelor/Master study programs plus one-year preparatory course of the Czech language (which is combined with other field-specific training), the government scholarships are awarded to graduates from upper secondary schools who can enrol only in study programs in which they follow instruction in the Czech language. Depending on the subject area, applicants are normally required to take entrance examinations at the respective institution of higher education. The scholarship award is conditional upon a successful passing of entrance examinations.

 

Submission of proposals

Proposals to award scholarships for the new academic year, along with necessary documents must be forwarded to the Czech Embassy in the country on a date determined by the embassy so that the documentation is available to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic in Prague by 15 January at the latest.

A limited number of scholarships is offered to students from developing countries who file their applications with the respective National UNESCO Commissions.

For more information, visit http://www.msmt.cz

Kenyan Youth Strategy Meeting 2011 – Nairobi Declaration

13th and 14th October 2011

Preamble

We, the delegates to the Kenyan Youth Strategy Meeting for Rio +20 at the United Nations Complex at Gigiri, Nairobi:

Acknowledge the African indigenous knowledge of the sacred value of the environment to biodiversity wellbeing.

Commit to promote innovations that will develop a green economy and promote the eradication of poverty.

Take note of the past declarations towards environmental sustainability both at the African and Global level, there is an urgent need for structural and infrastructural interventions in policy formulation, implementation and evaluation.

Recognize the current global environmental challenges, particularly climate change, which impact our common future and wellbeing, we commit ourselves to support of the following mechanisms:

  • Good governance and transformative leadership.
  • Promote Education, information exchange, communication and awareness
  • Achieve sustainable agricultural practices to reduce hunger, starvation and enhance food security.
  • Advocate for the development and implementation of sustainable development policies towards a Green Economy.
  • Invest in and promote eco-friendly entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • Attain sustainable green cities and villages.
  • Promote public engagement and participation through culture and volunteerism.
  • Promote Youth Development and capacity building
  • Good Governance and Transformative Leadership

We recognize the role of good governance and transformative sustainable development leadership that is

  • Participatory
  • accountable,
  • transparent and
  • implementable

at national and county levels. We reject governance that is weak on transitioning to a green economy and embrace that which promotes a green economy which engenders human well-being and social equity and respect for the natural environment, and the value of biodiversity and eco-systems, guided by, and accountable to, a new World Environment Organisation with universal membership by all UN Member States.  We also call for mechanisms in such new institutions that allow for youth participation in decision-making.

Youth delegations have to be engaged at all levels of governance in discussing benchmarks for the green economy. The Youth need to be involved in efforts towards policy formulation and development of institutional frameworks. Additionally, youth participation should be integrated at local, national and international assessments towards the development of an index for measuring the progress towards a green economy.

Promote Education, information exchange, communication and awareness

We recommend the adoption of green economy and sustainable development education material at all levels of education and public training initiatives by 2014. We intend to achieve this through the creation of various information sharing methods to various segments of the society.

We acknowledge that education underpins awareness; and awareness is critical to the spread of sustainable development principles through multiple levels in society.

Education serves as a hub for understanding the types of information to be considered when thinking about the green economy; how monitoring will be shaped in the context of the information identified as relevant; and the role of education on the environment to serve as a communication/public awareness tool on sustainable development.

Build an understanding toward the intersection of business, environment and society, in educating all people about the tenets critical to achieve sustainable development, especially the Youth.

Action: Build a national curriculum standard that promotes business in a green society. 2015

Action: Educate students in primary and secondary schools on the green economy by creating incentives that allow NGOs, student groups or CBOs to serve as ambassadors for education of the green economy. 2015

Action:  Build a monitoring service from the information-discovered. Discovery of information should be an integrated process involving key stakeholders with a special emphasis on Youth. Progress towards sustainable development goals should be identified as key thematic working groups, using poverty alleviation and institutional reform as output goals, and involvement of youth and CBOs as an inherent part of the process. 2018

Achieve sustainable agricultural practices to reduce hunger, starvation and enhance food security.

Whereas recognizing the interrelation between our national forest cover and agricultural productivity we recommend the following measures;

  • Increasing our national forest cover to 10% from the current 2% by the year 2015 through creation of green parks, promoting agroforestry and sustainable agribusiness.
  • Phasing out of hazardous chemical fertilizers in arable farming by the year 2015.
  • Promoting the utilization of the green energy technologies to enhance affordable agricultural production.

Advocate for the development and implementation of sustainable development policies towards a Green Economy.

Develop sustainability measures and indicators against which government programmes can be measured and assessed.

Advocate for the legislation of policies on sustainable development that regulate the corporations’ adherence to green economy modules.

Ensure that approximately 25% of the annual government development budget goes towards program initiatives on sustainable development, with clear indication on targets towards green growth in community development and individual technological entrepreneurship.  15% of the 5% funding should be geared towards mobilizing and benchmarking activities to demarcate marginal change of youth involvement in the green economy.  35% of that “Sustainable Development funding” should be geared towards supporting renewable energy and zero-carbon activities that are both sustainable and demonstrably financially viable, in a local and youth-oriented level. 2013

Ensure the programmatic and structural archetype of an environmental body that can hold nations and member-states accountable for reporting and making transparent their pathways and transitions towards a green economy. 2015

Ensure that the youth are fully represented at the National Land Commission.

Invest in and promote eco-friendly entrepreneurship and job creation.

Establish independent institutional mechanisms for promoting green entrepreneurship and growth among youth.

Set up an independent fund to provide start-up financing for green enterprises by youth

Promote technological, business and social innovation through creating enabling policy environment and platforms

Invest in business models that promote community development

Promote alternative and innovative funding and investment in youth green enterprises such as crowd-funding

Sensitize youth at all levels on green entrepreneurship through different channels such as new media

Create enabling business and policy environment for green entrepreneurship, for example, tax waivers for youth green enterprises

Promote public engagement and participation through culture and volunteerism.

We recognize the aspect of culture and indigenous knowledge that embraced green economy through agroforestry, organic fertilizers for sustainable development.

For sustainable development towards green economy, we recommend the need for selfless/political willingness from all levels of governance, private sector and individuals in promoting the green economy.

We recommend that; at all levels of policy formulation and participation, there is need for public engagement and concurrence which will enhance easy implementation and sustainability.

We stand for investment, documentation, promotion and development of best practices in cultural beliefs and practices that further conservation and renewable energy founded on indigenous knowledge.

Promotion of community and youth-led exchanges is key in this regard for effective sharing and transfer of green growth skills through access and exchange of information.

We appreciate that volunteerism will act as a means of inculcating community ownership of sustainable development initiatives.

Harness public engagement and Youth volunteerism to benchmark progress on the role of corporations in sustainable development through Corporate Socially Responsible initiatives.

Attain sustainable green cities and villages

Develop an independent institution to assess business models for micro-enterprises to assess their suitability for tax benefits and other incentives. And to regulate and ensure that micro-enterprises do not compromise environmental sustainability.

Develop comprehensive waste management systems by:

  • Placing increased emphasis on waste separation and recycling systems;
  • Establishing dug-in decomposition landfills where decomposable materials are put to decompose; once decomposed the material can be used as organic manure.

Establish awards to recognize and celebrate the effort of cities and villages that take significant steps in transforming into green cities and villages.

Regulate transportation to reduce congestion by:

  • Establishing dedicated lanes for public transport vehicles and
  • Implement mass transport systems such as rail transport.

Promote Youth Development and capacity building

In order to facilitate and further build capacity in youth to fully engage in and drive development processes to address the above priority areas, we call upon our governments to:

Adopt a Youth Development Index as an indicator of the welfare of the youth in the countries; and as a measure of the youth development.

Review existing and develop new policies and legislation to:

Promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship through structures such as:

  • Talent Academies
  • Technology and Business incubation centres

Protect these innovations through structures and measures such as:

  • Strong and easily accessible Intellectual Property protection
  • Moderate and accommodative tax regimes

Promoting youth participation in international forums through

  • Incorporating youth delegations as part of national delegations to international conferences
  • Providing funding for youth to participate at international
  • Incorporating youth in National policy formulation and implementation

Develop and strengthen national and local structures to provide support and training for youth organizations with emphasis in the areas of:

  • Establishment of community and youth led organizations
  • Leadership and organizational management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Management

Require that all government ministries establish youth offices and develop and implement youth engagement strategies to streamline youth participation in the work of the ministries.

Convene national and local youth forums to discuss matters relevant to youth development and make recommendations for action in support of youth development by state and non-state actors.

Improve youth access to information especially with regard to rural communities and informal urban settlements, through Establishment of community ICT Digital Villages

Conclusion

We, as young people, this is what we declare and recommend our government, individuals, businesses, development organizations and all stakeholders to undertake ahead of Rio+20 and beyond. Any action to be taken affects us and our future generation to a greater extent. We care about our planet and we will all work together in creating a more sustainable era. Green Economy is Achievable.

ONE Africa Award

The ONE Africa Award celebrates progress toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

ONE will recognize the Africa- driven, African led advocacy efforts that have demonstrated success at a community, national, or regional level. The $100,000 award will bring recognition to innovative African efforts to fight poverty and will incentivize more of such efforts (The award may be split into two prizes in order to award two smaller organizations better able to absorb a smaller monetary award.)

For further information, visit http://bit.ly/pBqvkW

Doing Business in the East African Community 2011

The East African Community is deepening and widening cooperation among its 5 member states. Spurred by the need to expand markets, boost competitiveness and attract investment, East African countries have continued to take steps to make it easier for local firms to start up and operate.

The main findings of the report are:

  • Doing business has become easier in East Africa since 2005.
  • Sharing good practices could bring East Africa closer to global top performers.
  • If each East African country were to adopt the region’s best practice in each of the Doing Business indicators, the region’s average ranking on the ease of doing business would be 18 rather than 117.
  • If the best of East African regulations and procedures were implemented across the board, the business regulatory environment in East Africa, as measured by Doing Business, would be comparable to that in Japan.
  • EAC members are already seeking to learn from one another’s good reform practices through the World Bank Group-sponsored Network of Reformers initiative.

Read the  Doing Business in the East African Community 2011 Report here