Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Head of Knowledge Management and Communications at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), is one of the twelve fellows selected from 10 countries out of the over 140 applicants who applied for the programme.
In an interview with WACSI’s communication team on Thursday, Fomunjong explained that the #ShiftThePower movement was a collection of like-minded individuals and institutions that had realised the power imbalance between actors in the Global North and actors in the Global South and were stepping up efforts to ensure there was an equitable share of power.
Especially one that recognises the relevance, the role, and the importance of actors from the Global South in the development landscape.
He emphasised that the efforts sought to boost the potential, accomplishments, and force that actors in the Global South have to ensure that, together, their voice and their place can be recognised within the global development landscape.
The movement, he indicated, was characterised by collaboration, sharing of ideas and experiences from development actors from Southern America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other continents, including Europe, with a collective goal to valorise the contributions of actors in the Global South and give them the deserved place to make sure that their contribution “is not only recognised but given due appreciation because of the importance of their contribution to the overall development landscape.”
Commenting on the progress the initiative had made and how actors were driving it, the WACSI Head of Knowledge Management mentioned that the movement, which started as a discussion at a conference about 10 years ago, can now boast of having global representatives, especially across Africa.
“First of all, one of the key ways that actors, particularly from the global south, are championing this agenda is to validate their potential. Like I said, valorise the resources we have in our own countries, recognising them and utilising them to complement what comes from diverse stakeholders, particularly as opposed to the prior approach of being solely dependent on external support.
So, we can see that this gradualistic and incremental approach of taking ownership of our values, our potential, our resources, and capitalising on those who drive the change we want in collaboration with diverse stakeholders, already shows that there is increasing momentum in terms of those who are buying into the shift of power philosophy, which is a good thing, “he added.
Fomunjong said the fellowship program is one of the critical forces set up by the GFCF and Root Change to drive and put into action the initiative, adding that it will help fellows, the institutions they represent, and the communities they represent, be more connected to the #ShiftThePower initiative. “And collectively we can take this action, take this movement a little further towards the goal we seek to achieve.”
During the six-month-long fellowship, Fomunjong’s areas of interest would include documenting experiences and sharing them with actors of the program who may be interested in creating learning for that experience.
The fellowship would also see other members focus on different areas of interest, all in a bid to drive the #ShiftThePower movement.
These, he said, are the diverse ways the fellowship will be creating a ripple effect in the communities “to ensure that we will be agents of change and influencers who are going to put the # ShiftThePower movement and agenda into the global spotlight.”
The #ShiftThePower Fellowship forms part of the larger Giving for Change programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which seeks to strengthen community philanthropy as a form of, and force for, freedom of expression and rights claiming.
Watch the full interview for more. Click here