The 2015 ONE Africa AwardÂ recognises Africa-driven; Africa led advocacy efforts that have demonstrated success at community, national or regional level.
The award isÂ aimed at recognising, rewarding, and advancing the exceptional work of organisations, founded by Africans and based in Africa, dedicated to helping Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The $100,000 award will bring recognition to innovative African efforts to fight poverty and will incentivise more of such efforts.
The Kampala based forest advocacy group, Support for Women in Environment and Agriculture â€“ SWAGEN is the winner of the $100,000 One Africa Award.
SWAGEN is a member based organization that uses indigenous knowledge to adapt to, mitigate and improve environmental and sustainable development policies that impact forest dependent communities.
The work of SWAGEN is based in the Rwoho Natural Tropical Forest of Uganda.
What began in 1992 as a small group 30 people/women responding to a national policy that restricted access to the Forest has grown to a 3,000 member organization with strategic partnerships across the continent and world.
SWAGEN is part of the African Womenâ€™s Network for Community Management of Forests, the Civil Society Coordinating Committee with UN FAO Committee on Food Security, and holds a Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC.
Congratulating the 2015 ONE Africa Award recipient, Nachilala Nkombo, ONE Africa Acting Executive Director,Â said
â€œToday, we join SWAGEN in celebrating their success in ensuring that members of forest communities in Uganda have a chance at a better life that doesnâ€™t compromise the needs of generations to come.â€
On receiving the award;Â Gertrude Kenyangi, Co-Founder and Chairperson of SWAGEN said,
â€œWe are incredibly humbled by the selection and honored to be recognized by ONE for our work. On behalf of our members, our board and our community, I thank the ONE Campaign and look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of those in forest dependent communities.â€
Each year, The ONE Africa Award celebrates and highlights innovation and progress made by African led civil society organisation towards achieving the 2000 MDGs.
The $100,000 prize money is underwritten by an endowment from The Howard G. Buffet Foundation. The MDGs were replaced this year in September by the UN through the new global goals agenda called the Sustainable Development Plan.
Previous ONE Africa Award winners include:
- 2014 – Friends Africa of Kenya supports the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria in partnership with the Global Fund.
- 2013 – Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) of Tanzania, a network of non-state stakeholders in Tanzaniaâ€™s agricultural sector that brings the voices of struggling smallholder farmers to the policy-making table.
- 2012 – Positive-Generation of Cameroon which uses a variety of advocacy tools and methods in its efforts to ensure quality lives for those living with HIV/AIDS in Cameroon.
- 2011 – GF2D of Togo which works to empower Togolese women to exercise their right to participate in the decision-making processes of their country by deploying paralegals into communities to share legal knowledge and by training women to run as candidates in local and national elections, amongst other activities.
- 2010 – SEND Ghana which works to educate and empower citizens to take part in the political process and access the services available to them.
- 2009 â€“ SIDAREC of Kenya, a community-based organisation founded by young people in Nairobiâ€™s slums, engages and empowers disadvantaged youth in the urban slums of Kenyaâ€™s capitalâ€”specifically to prevent violence.
- 2008 â€“ Devcoms of Nigeria which works with the media in Nigeria to train and education journalists and editors on public health issues, especially on those concerning women and children.
Source: One Africa Award