Zambia Social Forum Updates

Friday, April 28, 2006


Welcome to the Zambia Social Forum Updates Blog.

On this site, you will be able to view and post comments on activities being planned by the ZSF towards National, Southern Africa Social Forum, Africa Social Forum and World Social Forum 2007 from a Zambian perspective.

Feel free to participate towards change, after all, another Zambia is possible.

Held at Kepa Zambia On 29th March 2006

The Zambia Social Forum Panning meeting was held on 29th March 2006 at Kepa Zambia activists and organizations present were:

Charles Phiri
Sara Longwe
James Ngoma
Kiss Abrahams
Susan Mwape
Mukuka Nkoloso
Olivia Phiri
Jessy Zulu
Steven Likomeno
Grace Bwalya
Betty Mwale
Valfoulya Diallo
Susan Chilala
Louis Mwape
Malawo Matyola

Mrs. Regina Mwanza

The Meeting was facilitated by Mr. Valfolaya Diallo and of Graphics Zambia. The meeting was called to order at 09:53

Mr. Malawo Matyola the Executive Secretary of the Zambia Council for Social Development gave the introductory remarks, he started by apologizing for coming late he then thanked everyone for coming to the meeting, he noted that the meeting was aimed at building momentum towards the Zambia Social Forum up to the world Social Forum he said people should then have clear cut ideas on what the forums were and not to work on ad hock basis, he stressed the need for the committee to create a roadmap. He also thanked Mr. Diallo for coming to assist the forum and the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) in all the different ways on voluntary basis.

Mr. Diallo then called on Mr. Kiss Abrahams to talk about the Zambia Social Forum (ZSF). Mr. Abrahams talked about the forum being a platform where various organizations meet and share expectations and produce agendas for development, he said the forum has so many views to agree and disagree, it creates a process for peoples ability to share and argue. In the ZSF process his hope was to have the same platform that stimulates change and produces physical change.

Mr. Miles Larmer, wanted to know how the Social Forum can be made helpful to the continent. His fear was that it could be replication of big NGOs setting the agenda on how national forums’ grassroots participation prepare decision making and participation. He also wanted to know how the national forum could breach the gap on national regional conferences tries to see how they call all relate.

Mrs. Sarah Longwe, explained that from the very first social forum she had been involved, she had wanted it to come to Zambia, not that Zambia had no Social Forum, she said she liked the free space where people could come and go as they pleased. When she met Emily Sikazwe of Women for Change, they decided they should bring the social forum to Zambia. Mrs. Longwe believes that we can work collectively without tying ourselves and by so doing we can think global and act local and because there is a link with what we do. The beauty she sees in the forum is the open criticism.

Mr. Diallo then wanted to know if the Social Forum in terms of networking would embalm tat each organisation could cooperate some of their ideas? He felt at local level there is a need to build something tangible something that people can feel and see. He wanted to know if colleagues wanted to replicate or change ideas.

Ms. Irene Banda explained to everyone what Organisation Development and Community Management Trust (ODCMT). She said her organisation is a capacity building organization that lobbies and campaigns at both local and regional level.

Mr. Mukuka, from Save Workers and Retirees Association (SWARA) told colleagues that his organization works with Government Workers and Retirees helping then with loans and their times of need.

Mr. Kiss Abrahams said he is a member of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA –Zambia) but that he was attending the meeting in an individual capacity, he suggested that the individual approach was best for the forum.

Purpose:- There is need that everyone agree to what we believe or expect then make some things out of it and create common principles.

Expectations:- Mr. Larmer observed that Zambians have began to seek to shake society and resist economic policies, challenge and shape their environment, the only problem is that Zambians seem to be bad at recognizing achievements of their struggles they also the lack the space to come and share their achievements for example, ZANACO Privatization problems and its significant success. They have a tendency of working in isolation or working with western world organizations. He observed that ZSF could be an opportunity for activities and organizations to celebrate achievements share works and see where to go in future campaigns and struggles because the Social Forum brings them together.

Mrs. Longwe re-emphasized the need to plan as a team in unity, she agreed that there was need to have a permanent commission that can work under ZSF certain things on the world charter of principles are not practical in Zambia, there is need to touch our local people on what we disagree on social forums should have serious activism. It’s a survival strategy that can work as its not an organisation but people, activists an organization cant do that.

Mr. Matyola, ZCSD as a legal entity which can sue and be sued uis registered under an act has to work within registration and not beyond. The ministry has the authority to register. For example OASIS Forum refused to register as an organization, are we taking the mode of the OASIS forum only coming together when there is an issue?

To avoid inconsistence the social forum does not make statements. So as people, we can make statements or rather as a grouping. We can come together and organize and work. We should let it be about participation, so organization is there but not “an organisation”. We are not forming a new expert beauracracy, the structure is a facilitation for other people to participate. In the first ZSF, people spoke vernacular, people spoke and did their thing, people should be able to understand what is in the public order act for example, is it in ZCSD’s mandate to be part of ZSF. [The answer was yes]

As we do our own forum, our grandparents should be able to air their concerns and views even in villages.

Outcomes of Meeting
The ZCSD outcome of this meeting will be what the council will take to include in its strategic plan. There is need for a clear cut plan so that they able too sell their ideas too.

Members present at the meeting were asked to get into the commisions that they had selected. The commissions were:

- Media and Information [Charles, Susan, Kiss, Olivia, James]
- Content and Methodology [Sara, Steven, jessy]
- Youth [Betty, Kiss, Irene]
- Resource Mobilization [Matyola, Grace, Nkoloso]
- Program [Susan, Mwape, Diallo]

The commissions were then tasked to come up with terms of reference and its time frame and each should be activity bound.

Mrs. Longwe suggested that the information that will be compiled by the commissions including the resolutions of the meeting should be in a concept paper.

Since the previous working group was not available the current one will create a comprehensive paper that will be a concept with everything. When we are done we will call the usual SASF committee. Everyone will come so that they feel part of the process. Create space for everyone to come in and go. When people join they continue where they find us so that we don’t go back, they bring in ideas and we take them: we will take the following approach:

Submit commission reports to ZCSD
ZCSD puts in order the report
ZCSD Calls for a meeting [not more than 1 per commission]
Call the whole SASF Team for publicity and marketing

Meeting closed at 17: 12
Recorded by Susan Mwape