Digital organising in the Covid-19 era

The curtains for the Afrika Vuka Climate workshop were drawn with an interesting session on Digital Organizing. This session focused on how activists across the continent can mobilise and campaign effectively in the face of a global pandemic. The panelist, Joseph Ibrahim of the Coal Free Nigeria Campaign and Ibra Cassis of Save Bargny campaign in Senegal took the participants on a ride of their experiences in digital organizing.

For Joseph Ibrahim, he emphasized the importance of establishing the objective of the campaign and how it aligns with existing traditions, culture, religion, and laws of the people. He then stated that these identified objectives should be communicated to the target audience using the most compelling stories. 

He advised activists to place a high premium on telling the truth while telling stories of frontline communities as this will be the basis of a successful campaign.

On his part, Ibra Casis highlighted the demographics of internet users across the globe. He stated that with the number of people who use digital platforms on a daily basis, it will be unwise to disregard digital organizing. He further stated that digital organizing is the future and all activists should embrace it.

The panelist proposed a number of tips on digital organizing such as:

  • Determine a hashtag for the key message of the campaign e.g #CoalFreeNigeria
  • Identify the digital platform where your target audience is.
  • Produce quality visual and audiovisual content for storytelling
  • Use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Linkedin to share quality content
  • Tag your target audience on your post
  • Use online petitions to get people to commit to the campaign
  • Publish articles and news items online. 

By Joseph Ibrahim of the Coal Free Nigeria Campaign


Building climate-resilient local communities & groups in Africa 

350Africa under the #AfrikaVuka platform has brought together organizers, campaigners and journalists to learn from specific campaign case studies and gain campaign skills and tactics that can help grow relevant climate campaigns across Africa.

We, as Mt Kenya Network Forum, operating and working with communities on the footsteps of Mt Kenya. Feel overwhelmingly privileged and honored to be part of session 2 of the climate workshop, exploring and sharing ideas around some of the most important issues related to the climate crisis.

And more importantly, the inspiring campaigns that are part of #AfrikaVuka.

After joining the first #AfrikaVuka Climate Workshop where the speakers gave an exciting introduction to #AfrikaVuka. We felt enthusiastic and passionately interested in the below topic

        • Learning experiences from organizers about some of the tactics used for successful campaigns which include grassroots mobilizing /power of coalitions /finance /lobbying and advocacy.

Mamadou Barry from Senegal focused his presentation on the successful actions in Bargny against the coal power plant which include grassroots mobilising /power of coalitions /finance /lobbying and advocacy - see here some actions of the campaign SaveBargny.

Portia Baffour from 350Ghana Reducing Carbon (G-ROC) gave her experiences on mobilizing and empowering young people in partnership with key stakeholders to actively champion the need to reduce our carbon emissions and promote renewable energy systems as a key effort in combating climate change. Their key role involves contributing and/or influencing national environmental policies, strategies and implementation plans positively through interventions such as public education and awareness creation, publication of briefs and other papers and media engagement in our quest to keep the momentum up and really shift power. Once their key success and achievement has been to mobilize in conjunction with other youth groups to openly protest and petition the government of Ghana’s intention to construct a 700 megawatt of Coal-fired Power Plant for the first time in the country since their return from the event in Istanbul.

Omar Elmawi from Lamu, shared some tactics used on the deCOALonize Campaign in Kenya in four words: Mobilising community, Lobbying, Communications and Litigation. He brings out the challenges in growing as a group, Lack of expertise, Litigation setbacks, time and lack of access to information as the main ones.

The lessons learned out of these great and very successful experiences and group formations will go a long way in assisting our group and the communities we work with. We look forward to the power and momentum we will build with #AfrikaVuka, and more incredible stories and ideas we will all bring to the fore through our organizing. We also ask and advise other young and interested groups to join #AfrikaVuka and attend the remaining sessions of the Climate #AfrikaVuka workshop and join us from the 9th to the 11th of April, for the virtual event / training, aiming at skilling up the climate movement, with inspiring panels and training, bridging intersectional connections among different movements, and creating space for intergenerational dialogues between the youth climate movement and older activists.

By: Stephen Kariuki K

Mt Kenya Network Forum - Founder

AfrikaVuka Climate Workshops

5 years after the Paris Agreement, world leaders are expected to come forward with updated, more ambitious national climate plans made under that historic agreement. Though some countries have tried their best to cut emissions and show bold climate actions, many including the most powerful and heavy emitters are still lagging behind. 

Africa is the most-exposed region to the adverse effects of climate change despite contributing the least to global warming. The region is already disproportionately feeling the impacts related to a changing climate. Devastating cyclones affected 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe in the spring of 2019. Hundreds of thousands across West Africa and the Sahel region are still recovering from the floods that hit last August and September.

Despite this gloomy picture, the regional climate movement is emerging, slowly but surely, challenging the first coal projects in a number of countries and showing the safe pathways to follow if Africa really wants to break free from fossil fuels and embrace a bright and sustainable future based on renewables.

Encouraged by recent victories and guided by our mission to build the capacities of regional organisers, 350Africa is proposing a new series of workshops on winning campaign techniques and tactics, with the hope that the workshop will result in a new wave of large-scale climate actions as we work towards ending the age of fossil fuels and moving to clean, renewable energy.

At the end of the 4 sessions,  participants are expected to have gained fresh knowledge, practical skills and confidence that can allow them to launch and/or re-energize the climate struggles and campaigns they are engaged in. They can decide to work on renewable energy campaigns at a local level, target specific institutions behind fossil fuel projects in their areas, or strategize on stopping existing ones. The workshops will also touch on story-telling - a powerful tool in sharing and amplifying the campaigns’ voices and demands. 

Click here to register and join the AV Climate Workshops and to meet powerful and motivated organisers and campaigners working to break Africa free from fossil fuels and embrace a bright and sustainable future based on renewables.