Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Kenya: KENASVIT/StreetNet New Manifesto Planning Workshop 18-19 July

Richard Muteti, Informal Sector Representative on Youth Board opens workshop
The New Manifesto Campaign Workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 18th-19th July 2011. The event, funded by Street Net International and hosted by StreetNet affiliate, Kenyan National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT), was successful in bringing together participants from various African nations to develop campaign plans of action to create a living manifesto that voices the demands and rights of informal traders across the globe. The African nations represented included Ghana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This event was the third campaign planning workshop organized this year, as earlier there had been a Latin American workshop in March 2011 and an Asian workshop in early July 2011.  There are plans for a fourth workshop in West Africa in early 2012.
Participants classifying New Manifesto demands

The workshop was opened with an inspiring and informative address from Richard Muteti, the informal sector representative on the Youth Board in Kenya who has played a large role in designing and pushing for the Medium and Small Enterprises Bill in Kenya, an important piece of legislation that would create a much-needed legal framework for the informal sector. Pat Horn, Street Net’s International Coordinator, then outlined the purpose and phases of the New Manifesto Campaign. She emphasized that the campaign is a bottom-up collection of demands and rights from informal traders to ultimately create a national manifesto that will be incorporated into an international one. Participants went on to discuss elements of a successful campaign, while sharing and comparing campaign experiences across issues and countries. Afterwards, the workshop split into two groups to brainstorm and synthesize demands for street and market vendors, an exercise that will certainly be useful to replicate during the large-scale collection of inputs from informal traders. By the end of the day, the group had classified their demands into overarching themes, and created a national campaign plan of action for each country represented. 

Workshop participants from DRC, Swaziland, Ghana, Tanzania, with Pat Horn

On the second day, participants presented their national campaign plans of action. The following sessions discussed tools for the plans. Anne Matondo from the Democratic Republic of Congo outlined tools for action, and then there was a briefing on social media tools for the campaign. The plans of action were discussed in light of the issues brought up during the course of the workshop, including the media, the consideration of group-specific demands (women, youth, persons with disabilities and living with HIV and AIDS), and the process of creating the manifesto itself. The workshop was closed with a passionate address from Professor Winnie Mitullah, whose research and efforts contributed significantly to the founding and success of KENASVIT. After reflecting on experiences and knowledge gained, Pat Horn and Simon Nasieku gave some closing words. In the afternoon, participants went to Muthurwa market to meet with vendors at their workplaces. Overall the workshop was a huge success and KENASVIT expressed its gratitude  to have the opportunity to host such an event.

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