Hundreds of activists and prominent members of civil society from more than 100 countries will gather in Johannesburg for International Civil Society Week (ICSW) from 19-25 November.
Representatives from civil society will use the weeklong series of events to discuss and debate some of the most urgent problems facing people around the world.
“The week offers a unique opportunity for civil society organisations and activists from all over to gather in one place to connect, share experiences and best practice, and to inspire each other,” said Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary-General of CIVICUS.
The week, to be held at Wits University, will feature events that touch on a wide range of issues: advocacy, campaigns, data for development, global governance, human rights, labour movements, media, protests, and youth — to mention just a few.
“Johannesburg is honoured to be celebrating South Africa’s historic 20th anniversary of freedom and democracy with CIVICUS and its partners, as we host change leaders from around the world in our city for International Civil Society Week 2014,” said Councillor Mpho Parks Tau, Executive Mayor, City of Johannesburg.
A flagship event of ICSW is the CIVICUS World Assembly, which will be held on Monday 24 November. Since 1995 this has been one of the world’s premier civil society events, gathering thought-leaders from numerous countries and sectors to discuss burning civil society challenges related to human rights, development and a range of social issues. This year the World Assembly will feature inspiring stories, debates and discussions by global change-makers.
The CIVICUS World Assembly will culminate with an Innovation Awards ceremony featuring the ONE Africa award and the Nelson Mandela - Graça Machel Innovation Awards. The Mandela-Machel Awards celebrate civil society activism by rewarding an organisation, individual activist and young person for their excellence, innovation, and brave risk-taking. Since the Awards were launched by Graça Machel in 2004, 24 projects in 19 different countries have received this honour.
The ONE Africa Award will recognise, reward, and advance the exceptional work of organisations, founded by Africans and based in Africa, dedicated to helping Africa fight poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
For those unable to attend International Civil Society Week, an online platform - `ICSW Live’ - will include radio podcasts, short video clips, photos, a discussion forum, and a Twitter feed through which they can follow events.