Kumi Naidoo takes the helm at Africa Civil Society Centre

2016-02-16 13:31

Durban – Former Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo, has been appointed as a director of the Africa Civil Society Centre.

In a joint statement, civil society groups ActionAid and Civicus said Naidoo had a "long history of activism and leadership for international organisations”"

"The founding partners of the centre, ActionAid and Civicus, the global civil society alliance, are delighted to announce that the first director of the centre will be the internationally respected civil society leader Kumi Naidoo."

Naidoo will be a director for the six-month launch phase of the initiative and is not a permanent appointment.

The statement said that the centre would "promote and strengthen the effectiveness of Africa solidarity and bring together networks to build trust and cooperation amongst civil society leaders".

Commenting on his appointment, Naidoo said, "The new centre was inspired by a vision of a democratic, equitable, sustainable and transformative change in Africa in which popular struggles against poverty and injustice shift the balance of power and attain respect for human rights for all.

"It is a vision that I am committed to helping achieve."

Adriano Campolina, Chief Executive of ActionAid International, said the organisation was "delighted to have Naidoo on board".

"He brings huge experience as an activist, leader and human rights advocate and will inspire the centre to help us increase our work together in solidarity, sharing our experiences as African civil society to mobilise and organise our civic struggles."

Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary-General of Civicus, said Naidoo would ably assist civil society.

"We believe the centre under the leadership of Kumi Naidoo can help civil society mobilise and shape development agendas in Africa and internationally."

The well-known activist made a name for himself heading Greenpeace from 2009 to 2015 and is also widely acknowledged for his anti-apartheid efforts in the 1970s and 1980s.  

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