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Triple ‘F’: Setting the Pace for a Sustainable Africa Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by charlton c tsodzo, Zimbabwe Mar 31, 2005
Child & Youth Rights   Interviews
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Triple ‘F’: Setting the Pace for a Sustainable Africa It is not everyday that one gets to meet up with such a zealous larger-than-life character so full of zest and passion for youth participation in African development. It gets even better when such a bundle of energy is a rare combination of beauty and brains, down to mother earth and disposed to share their vision with any other young person they suspect to be like-minded. Who was I then to resist scheduling for an interview with Matilda Moyo, the co-ordinator of Fast Forwarding to the Future (FFF)?

FFF is a regional movement of young people operational in Eastern and Southern Africa fully convinced that young people hold the destiny to a sustainable Africa. Just managing to squeeze a little time from her hectic schedule, we managed a brief discussion in which she enthusiastically told me all about FFF.

Charlton C. Tsodzo: Thanks Mattie for making the time to meet up with me finally, and as I had pointed out in our earlier conversation, as the Regional Youth Editor for the Millennium Campaign, I’m quite keen on finding out what young people are doing within Southern Africa in line with meeting the Millennium Development Goals. You project undoubtedly caught my attention, and maybe for starters, I’d want you to give me an overview of what FFF is all about.

Matilda Moyo: Well, Thanks. ‘FFF’ is an abbreviation for Fast Forwarding into the Future, a brainchild of young Africans working with Mwelekeo we NGO (MWENGO),a reflection and development centre for NGOs in Eastern and Southern Africa. Falling under MWENGO’s Research and Development Unit, FFF is an initiative by young Africans who are of the conviction that a brighter future for the continent is possible, and if they can dream it, they can achieve it.

CC: When was Triple ‘F’ founded and what led to its formation?

MM: Triple ‘F’ was founded in February 2003, and it was premised upon the realisation that Africa for a long time had always been a victim of circumstance, for example through slave trade, colonialism, neo-liberalisation among other issues. Combined with inadequate planning, Africans had since lost the capacity to determine their own destiny. Triple ‘F’ therefore came in as a measure to try and bring young African people to re-strategize on how best to reclaim the ability to determine their own future

CC: You continue to mention these ‘young people’ in Triple ‘F’ Mattie, who are these young people, and what inspires you guys?

MM: Well, Triple ‘F’ has brought together a team of youth between 20-35 years from civil society in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) of diverse backgrounds, talents and skills, to form a nucleus team known as the Core Group, whose challenge is to lead the process of strategy formulation with regards to the role of youth in the regional development agenda. We are definitely inspired by our common consensus that a better Africa is possible and if we can dream, we can certainly do it.

CC: What have you guys done to date?

MM: Oh (her eyes sparkle), we have researched and come up with Vision 2050 for Africa, basically a roadmap towards a poverty-free, conflict-free, educated, and healthy and globally linked sustainable Africa. It might do you good to know that the Vision was launched by non other than former South Africa president Nelson Mandela in September 2004 (chuckle). The launch was also attended by other heads of state like then Mozambique President Chissano, Sam Nujoma as well as Dr. Graca Machel, of international development celebrity.

CC: Wow, that sounds brilliant, and a quick perusal through the Vision proves it to be a document of substance, but isn’t 2050 too far to set developmental targets?

MM:I know it really seems too far, but what we have basically done is to use the Millennium Development Goals as our entry point, and taken it further beyond 2015 bearing in mind that the MDGs are not an end in themselves, but just a means to an end. We have also bought into other national development strategies within the region, for example Botswana 2016,Kenya 2027,Tutafika Africa from Tanzania, and Vision 2020 from Zimbabwe. That then explains the upper limit we have set for our vision.

CC: As a group of young people, how do you guys feel you should be involved in the MDGs process? In a sense I want to understand what you feel is the role of the youth in the MDGs.

MM: To be honest Charlton, I really feel that us as young people should in fact be at the heart and soul of the MDGs process. The Goals are meant for a better and sustainable future, moreso for Africa considering our myriad of development dilemmas. However, many young people on the continent are not upcoming to participate in development. Of course we might argue that we are not being given the space, but then what are we doing about it? Tell me why young people have to be poked all the time to realise that they should play a role in development issues, why can’t they figure it out on their own?

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Antony Felix O. O. Simbowo | May 4th, 2005
The continent needs positivity.. May action starting with you will do.. Good thoughts..

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