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Hivos Announces Fourth Gathering of African Crossroads

African Crossroads session

On October 14 and 15, Hivos’ African Crossroads will organize its fourth edition. The theme of this year’s gathering is ECOEXISTENCE. At the end of Crossroads 2021, participants will emerge with an actionable (collective) manifesto that aims to shape the trajectory of climate justice on the African continent for the years to come.

African Crossroads is a community of future-oriented African thinkers and doers which collaborates all year long and critically reflects on the most cutting-edge entrepreneurial, scientific, artistic, and technological developments anchored in African intellectual and technological traditions.

The community’s gathering comes at a time when humanity is still learning how to coexist with Covid-19. It comes as a wake-up call to reinvent rights for different habitats, to reconsider nature and the fundamental reality that all living creatures form an interconnected web on earth. That’s why climate justice is at the core of this year’s Crossroads.

A climate justice consultation

In the months leading up to the 2021 edition, the thinkers and doers assessed the need for increased inclusivity of under-represented groups in the creation, facilitation, and advocacy on innovative climate solutions.

The community collected members’ individual and shared experiences. Ten key ideas were identified that spanned issues such as awareness, territoriality, and conditions of existence. The Crossroads’ Ecollective Curatorial statement explains: “In Clubhouse hangouts, Mixcloud sessions and Tweetchats, we’ve harnessed and expanded collective intelligence. We’ve upgraded dialogues into multilogues through our Climathon, hybrid residency, and Ubuntu sessions.” 

A crisis of attention

This pan-African consultation pointed in one strong direction. Participants agreed that the climate crisis is a crisis of attention. A crisis of attention to oneself (when life switches online, are our body and mind still connected to our context?); a deficit of attention to each other; an absence of attention to the environmental elements. In the end, a crisis of coexistence: how do we co-exist on earth?

Join the Crossroads

This hybrid edition combines both physical activities conducted at seven hubs on the African continent, as well as virtual sessions broadcasted to the public live on the African Crossroads YouTube channel. Members of the Crossroads network are looking forward to engaging with each other across borders, time zones, and physical barriers to share experiences, dreams, collective wisdom and generate actionable and collaborative projects through workshops, conversations, panel discussions, gaming opportunities, and art installations.

This year again African Crossroads is going hybrid. 7 hubs across Africa (Karen Village in Nairobi, Kenya, CDEA in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Fondation Tunisie in Tunis, Tunisia, Ugandan Arts Trust in Kampala, Uganda, Barefeet Theatre in Lusaka, Zambia, and Afrotopia in Harare, Zimbabwe) are opening their doors to the physical event.

From these co-hosting hubs, attendees will be able not only to tune in to the online program but most of all meet fellow Crossroaders and attend physical activities prepared by the hubs!

The 2021 edition will be held on October 14 and 15. Each day, the program starts at 10 a.m. CAT and runs until 8 p.m. Presented as “African Crossroads On Air” members and friends of the Crossroads network can tune into an interactive and immersive “radio-like” experience that will last for 9 hours. You can find the detailed program here. 

About African Crossroads

The African Crossroads community curates a yearly physical & virtual gathering to inspire and showcase experiments on a given topic, an outcome of a year-long exercise for collective intelligence and collaborative action to positively shape the future of African societies.

The augural edition was held in Marrakech, Morocco. Dubbed “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” its multi-disciplinary participants explored their own roles in shaping Africa’s ongoing technological and intellectual revolution. The 2019 edition, themed Sense the City,” convened in November in Mombasa, Kenya, to positively shape the future of African cities. In 2020 the community gathered to virtually revisit pan-Africanism.

Crossroads is initiated and produced by Hivos. The platform is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende