The Mize Family Foundation (MFF) proudly partnered with Global Fund for Women (GFW) to host a reception for Muadi Mukenge, GFW Program Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, in April 2015. Mukenge has a wealth of knowledge and experience, which we were eager to share with our Seattle friends. Those at the gathering also learned about the Great Lakes Women’s Platform, a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda that GFW and MFF are supporting.
Mukenge began the conversation by informing attendees of GFW’s work, providing $1.5 million in grants each year to organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. These grants focus in 3 areas: rural, post-conflict, and francophone regions. GFW’s mission is to make positive impact in these regions by partnering with and supporting women’s organizations.
She explained that specifically in the Great Lakes region, they are inviting everyone to be part of the solution. Strategizing ways for women to be active participants in all levels of government and society, their programs focus on literacy, law, and peace advocacy.
One success story comes from a southern province in the Congo, where an organization made up of young activists, sought to demystify the political process and complex government documents. When the Peace Accord was signed in 2013, the group created a play to explain the language of the document. Community members were able to understand the text on a deeper level, due to the commitment of these young advocates.
Mukenge emphasized that a strong network of community, grassroots organizations can build long-lasting changes in Sub-Saharan Africa. GFW typically looks for groups that have been working for 7 years or more, are working on the ground, have strong relationships with the community, and are supporting women in influencing key decisions. Furthermore, they ensure that the projects they support are promoting the sovereignty of local people. In this way, each community can build their own solutions and initiatives.
Participants were inspired by Mukenge’s words and asked in what ways they could assist. Mukenge stressed the importance of understanding foreign policy before beginning to delve into what’s happening in Africa. She suggested a great list of books including: The Political Economy of Third World Intervention by David Gibbs.
More Congo Resources/Advocacy Actions
1. Funding a Women’s Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo: 2004-2009, by Muadi Mukenge et al. Global Fund for Women, 2010.
2. Congo’s Quest for Liberation Continues by Beth Tuckey and Bahati Ntama Jacques
5. Gibbs, David. The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crisis. University of Chicago Press, 1991.
Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009
A bill to require annual disclosure to the SEC of activities involving columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, and wolframite from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and for other purposes.
- US financial reform bill also targets ‘conflict minerals’ from Congo
- Conflict Minerals: A Cover For US Allies and Western Mining Interests?
California Says NO to Conflict Minerals, Posted March 24th, 2011
California State Senator Ellen Corbett has introduced SB 861, a bill that (if passed) would prohibit the state of California from contracting with companies who do not follow the federal rules of transparency that prohibit the trading of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
U.S. Public Law 109-456, Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006
Sets forth specified U.S. political, social, civil, and economic policy objectives with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). States that the United States should work with other donor nations to increase international contributions to the DRC. Authorizes the Secretary to withhold assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, other than humanitarian, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism assistance, for a foreign country determined by the Secretary to be acting to destabilize the DRC.