Announcing the 2010 Drivers of Change in Southern Africa

The Drivers of Change to overcome poverty in Southern Africa were announced on Thursday, 28 October 2010 at a gala dinner held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The prestigious non-monetary awards recognise outstanding new ways of working to overcome poverty. They recognise individuals and organisations from the business, government, and civil society sectors that are making a real and lasting difference to overcome poverty by doing things differently from before.

This years’ Drivers of Change winners are:

In the government category, Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for his dedication to eradicate poverty through enabling access to broader markets by business. He was instrumental in bringing together the region’s 3 economic blocs: COMESA, the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) into a tripartite association. This is resulting in the 3 communities rapidly working towards trading as a single market of about 600 million people, leading to more political stability and prosperity.

In the individual category, Jay Naidoo, the former South African Minister responsible for the reconstruction and development programme and Telecommunications for driving socio-economic development not only in South Africa but in the whole southern Africa region and beyond. He has worked closely with poor communities and always affirms that his most important insights came directly from people facing the daily challenges of poverty.

In the civil society category, Ikamva Youth for setting a good example for younger learners to become agents of change for their own success. Ikamva Youth leverages on the power of peer-to-peer learning, mentoring, and volunteerism and cross sector partnerships to transform South Africa’s educational landscape. Learners whose parents are under-educated and unemployed are breaking the cycle of poverty through education, taking responsibility for their own education and their future.

In the business category, the panel of judges have not given the Drivers of Change award as there were no unique and innovative entries.

The panel of judges also awarded a special commendation to Rural Women’s Movement for driving change that innovatively uses experiences of poor rural women and girls to contribute to policy making processes and secure a better life for women through training on human rights and gender, and creating spaces for the marginalised to be heard on the basic issues that affect their daily lives.

“We are in an era where social, political and economic integration are a priority in the African states. The nominations this year have shown that we are all moving in unison to achieve this common goal, and that is highly commendable. Ultimately, all we want to see is the eradication of poverty and through the Drivers of Change awards, we will continue to profile initiatives that are breaking the norm and seeking practical solutions to poverty,” says Petronilla Ndebele, Head of Operations at the Southern Africa Trust.

In recognition of the great work that organisations are doing to eradicate poverty, the judges asked the Southern Africa Trust to introduce a new Chairperson’s award this year. The award is given to outstanding organisations or individuals who may not have met all the criteria for the awards or may not have been nominated, but are making a noteworthy contribution to driving systemic change in the way things are done in southern Africa. The Yeoville Community School, received the award for providing access to education to undocumented poor migrant children, in the face of the South African education system’s hostility towards accepting undocumented migrants into the system. Yeoville School is a driver of change by being an outstanding example of how possible it is to build a united regional community in the region.

Brendan Cox who is the former Special Advisor to Gordon Brown on Africa and international development delivered a keynote address at the 2010 Drivers of Change awards that are presented jointly by the Southern Africa Trust and the Mail & Guardian newspaper’s Investing in the Future awards.

“We need to be better at differentiating between micro-change and systemic change. That means researching our interventions rigorously and picking only those interventions that could lead to change beyond themselves, interventions that are scalable or which build a momentum that leads to fundamental realignment. We need to stop taking the easy option,” said Brendan Cox underscoring the need to pay more attention to issues of growth, gender and governance.
The awards event attracts over 300 business, government, and civil society leaders from across the southern African region each year.

The Southern Africa Trust is an independent non-profit agency that supports deeper and wider regional engagement to overcome poverty in southern Africa.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Mpho Kgosidintsi
Tel: +27 11 318 1012
Mobile: +27 78 459 0152

Date published: 
Thursday, 28 October, 2010
Southern Africa Trust

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