Africa Crisis Hub – A Pan-African Communication Crisis strategy
Owing to the major role played by African diaspora organisations and individuals in the African continent’s development, ADEPT, the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform, is keen to highlight initiatives of the African diaspora based in the EU but also in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Norway. ADEPT works towards achieving a main goal: improving and strengthening the capacity and impact of African diaspora organizations involved in Africa’s development activities.
Today, we will focus on an organization called “Africa Crisis Hub”. For a good reason, the organization’s slogan is: « Reaching at-risk communities via innovative and creative crisis communications ». Past suspicion towards public health interventions in response to Ebola accounts for Africa Crisis Hub’s approach which is particularly relevant and timely in the context of COVID-19.
Even though the organization began its activities in March 2020, which was the period when the COVID-19 upended the social life of all populations throughout the world, the founder Ariane Takyi, who’s a consultant living in Brussels, and her collaborators want their effort in providing crisis communications to continue for the years to come.
The organization is headquartered in Europe and Africa. Thanks to its collaboration with 84 grassroots movements and 26 translators, Africa Crisis Hub team manages to operate in 19 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa Crisis Hub’s current actions
In order to facilitate the understanding of barrier gestures by local populations, the organization has implemented different systems. This is the case for the « Stay at home » documentation, which has been placed in areas with high attendance. Reminders and markers of social distancing were posted at community water pumps. Handwashing instructions are shown through graphs to improve understanding. News about the virus is verified and translated into local languages. Finally, they’ve used NFC technology to provide access to up-to-date information.
The response to an important need
To demonstrate the magnitude of the need addressed by Ariane Takyi, here are a few numbers. It’s important to know that in Sub-Saharan Africa, 220 million Africans live in rural areas, 203 million people are illiterate and 400 million people lack digital access. In total, more than 820 million Africans are likely to be helped by proper communication crisis strategies and tools such as those proposed by this young Brussels consultant.
Africa Crisis Hub team does not work alone and is supported by many other stakeholders to strengthen their capacity to build their project. These « generous hands » come from organizations such as Peace First, Santander Bank which provides their share of aid through the Portsmouth University and finally from the African Development Bank.
What are the project results?
Africa Crisis Hub project is more than encouraging in terms of feedback and satisfaction. The organization has already received a good number of positive reports from the grassroots. This constitutes a boost for the whole team that has been contacted by many institutions wishing to benefit from their extension services.
Africa Crisis Hub wishes to produce an impact report by the end of the year 2020. The objective of this evaluation will be to assess their ability to attain their targets and to develop further.
They currently target 85 movements, thus creating a larger group of translators in order to further break down language barriers, whilst making content accessible to a larger number of people. Their ultimate goal would be to reach more than a thousand local movements.
Africa Crisis Hub on social networks: