WHY THE CAMPAIGN?
“Africa has a long history of social and political exclusion, most notably in the form of colonial rule, which marginalized entire African populations. Unfortunately, however, this exclusion is not merely a thing of the past and continues to undermine the efforts of the African Union. The failure to incorporate elements of society (such as women) into the workforce has stunted the growth of the economy, making production inefficient and the market limited. Race, ethnicity and religion continue to cause conflict across the continent, and the diaspora is often excluded from “belonging”. Identity remains categorically segmented, certain groups remain consistently segregated, and the prospects of African unity and development seem to be creeping further from view.”
There is a growing sense of exclusion on the African continent and Africans, especially human rights and civil society groups, have a key role to play to reverse the phenomenon. Although current levels of hate speech may not be on the same what occurred in Rwanda in 1994, what is happening on the continent is alarming enough to warrant the ‘No Hate Speech Movement Africa Campaign’.
Even though 2014 marked the anniversaries of two significant events in modern African history – 20 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa and 20 years since the Rwandan genocide, many African citizens continue to witness and live with a surge of intolerance and hate, growing levels of discrimination, and a rise in ethnic and religious fundamentalism. This makes what is happening in Africa at the moment all the more important.
The launch of the ‘No Hate Speech’ campaign in Africa will represent exactly the kind of dialogue that is desperately needed in this part of the world. It is an opportunity to discuss issues in a more tolerant and open manner, and to learn how to contribute in positive ways to resolving political disputes and conflict – Also the campaign will center on curbing inflammatory rhetoric in political campaigns—lessons not just for Africa, but lessons to be shared with the world. The coordinating organization of the ‘No Hate Speech’ in Africa is Concerned Africans Youth Forum (CAYF).