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Activities undertaken

Workshop for Training of Trainers of Afro-descendant Leaders in the Americas, Panama, 2012

The Workshop for Training of Trainers of Afro-descendant Leaders in the Americas was held on March 27-29, in Panama City, Panama, organized by the Department of International Law (DIL) of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
It was attended by a select group of 32 Afro-descendant leaders from different countries in the region, who had won scholarships to participate in the workshop, after a rigorous selection process conducted jointly by the DIL and the Office of Scholarships, Training and Capacity-Building of the General Secretariat.

 

The purpose of the workshop was to train leaders of African descent on matters relating to leadership and politics in the region, with a view to enhancing the participation and impact of the Afro-descendant population in the inter-American system, as well as at the local, national, and subregional level. Regional instruments for the protection of Afro-descendants would be used to that end.

Apart from briefing the participants about these tools, the workshop addressed recent developments in the Inter-American System regarding issues relating to Afro-descendants, the status of Afro-descendant women in the Americas, and other vulnerable groups. One specific module was designed to assist civil society organizations of people of African descent with fund-raising for projects designed to benefit their communities. Finally, there were presentations and group work on effective political communication techniques and democratic leadership skills in general.

Workshop facilitators Dante Negro, Diego Moreno, and Roberto Rojas Dávila, of the Department of International Law, and Pablo Zuņiga, of the Department for Effective Public Management, represented the OAS General Secretariat. Three civil society organizations of people of African descent were represented, by: Gustavo Lugo, expert in fundraising issues; Hordina Rocha, gender issues expert, representing the Network of Afro-Latin American, Afro-Caribbean and Diaspora Women; and Urenna Best, expert in dynamics issues.

Hopefully, one outcome of this workshop will be that the male and female leaders taking part replicate it in their respective countries of origin, with technical advice from the DIL, thereby ensuring wider dissemination and impact among the region's people of African descent. To that end, the DIL has prepared a Manual containing the conceptual and practical tools needed for participants at the workshop to replicate the experience.

The ultimate goal is to achieve full and free participation, on an equal footing, of women and men of African descendant in all spheres of life in our countries and especially in matters that concern them in particular.

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