GlobalNet21 and Africa group

(Written by Pamela McLean January 2014)

The GlobalNet21 and Africa group has a practical focus. It's a learning and doing group. People with links to projects in Africa can share what they're doing (or hope to do) with the group. We can all learn from each other and help people in what they are trying to do.

This group builds on "learning and doing" work that I've done for many years in collaboration with John Dada (of Fantsum Foundation) under the name of Dadamac.

In August 2014 I took advantage of a meetup called GlobalNet21 Speakers Corner where Francis Sealey was inviting GN21 members to talk, for five minutes, about their idea, their passion, their enterprise or their community work and goals. I talked about Dadamac.

In September Francis invited me to contibute to a session called

Sustaining Growth in Africa - Can The West Help? I explained more about the UK-Nigeria collaboration that is Dadamac, Some people were interested in exploring things further, but we didn't just want a talking shop, we wanted action as well. We decided to from a GlobalNet21 and Africa group that would focus on changemakers, and we'd be concerned with practical action as well as learning about specific projects and general issues. 

We set up a meeting to get things started in October, started to plan our first event and agreed we'd hold another planning meeting In December.

By a stroke of luck John Dada was arranging a private visit to the UK in November for a much needed holiday with friends and family. Given the way the group had grown out of a five minute talk about Dadamac John was our ideal first guest.  He broke his holiday to come down to London for our first public event of the GN21 and Africa group Challenges and Opportunities for Innovation

The group is attracting a good proportion of people who have links with practical projects, and the plan is to showcase them in ways that will support our aim of combined learning and doing. We seem to be developing a pattern of alternating between events which will have a wide appeal, and much smaller events which are for people who have a serious interest in the development, direction and general nurturing of the group.

Our first meeting of 2012 showcases the interests of two of our members, Guy Cowley and Margaret Thorli. February will be a group development meeting and March will give more of our members a chance to speak - perhaps in a Speakers' Corner format, like the one where I got the chance to first speak about Dadamac.

It's a learning-and-doing group - and the way that the group develops will be part of our shared learning-and-doing experience.