Across Africa, local groups are fiercely working towards setting Africa free from coal dependency. They are leading the #deCOALonise movement. These struggles deserve recognition, support and solidarity @350Africa pic.twitter.com/Z2fd8McyiW
— Landry Ninteretse (@ninteretse) March 2, 2018
With great admiration for the efforts to freeze fossil fuel energy developments in Africa, we report back from the inaugural deCOALonise.africa meeting of Non-profit Organisations (NPOs) advocating for the end of coal in Africa. On February 1, 2018, more than 15 activists representing regional organisations from across Africa gathered in Johannesburg as part of a series of anti-coal organising and campaign capacity building meetings. In sum, participants were introduced to the deCOALonise.africa platform and shared knowledge, experiences and approaches to advocating for a coal-free Africa. The days’ discussions focused on approaches to strengthening African anti-coal solidarity, strengthening capacities for organising, mobilising, and engaging with the media through participant-led storytelling, in addition to putting forward ideas of how we as a collective can engage with upcoming global and regional anti-fossil fuel moments in 2018.
Partage d’expériences et des bonnes pratiques sur la lutte contre le charbon et changement climatiques. Meeting #deCOALonise #SA @centre_durable @350Africa @GcuCsayn @AndreMoliro @350 pic.twitter.com/d5Hdbw3P0j
— HOPELANDCONGO (@HLCasbl) February 1, 2018
The deCOALonise.africa campaign platform aims to unite campaigns and movements working to end the age of coal in Africa. Inspired by campaigners in Kenya, the objective of the platform is to highlight the impact of coal on affected people through strengthening solidarity and providing regional campaigns with tools and resources to scale up their efforts to achieve a coal-free Africa powered by 100% renewable energy.
The day’s dialogue was kicked off by Chris Kif, Digital Campaigner at 350 Africa. His presentation on what the platform seeks to achieve, and spotlight on how its already working in Ghana and Kenya was followed by participant stories of their campaigns and discussion on how best organisations that are spread across the continent can work together. After some discussion and suggestions, the Decoal platform was endorsed as a useful tool with clear objectives and a solid vision. The remainder of the day was spent discussing how to implement the organising guidelines into their campaigns and how to energise the platform with opportunities to work together.
This first meeting was both inspirational and full of learning. It was valuable to witness and feel the excitement and energy around deCOALonise.africa, and the possibilities it holds for resisting the importation of dirty energy developments into Africa. We’re all back in our respective countries, cities and communities, but bound by an unyielding commitment to stand up against coal. Going forward, participants will meet virtually on the 1st and 6th of March 2018 to plan for key global and regional moments in 2018 – if you are interested in joining this call, you can sign up here. Join us, and let’s set Africa on a coal-free path through people power!