In April 2011 Ms Masego Madzwamuse joined the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) as Programme Manager for Economic Justice. OSISA has been central in driving and demonstrating the interdependence between democracy, economic development and human rights. The premise for the Economic Justice programme is that in a continent that continues to grapple with severe political, economic and social challenges socio-economic rights are central to the human rights discourse.
Currently one of the biggest threats to good governance and human rights in Southern Africa is the growing problem of poverty and inequality. While the region has a wealth of natural resources and some of its countries have enjoyed steady economic growth over the years SADC still remains one of the poorest regions in the world. More than 50% of its population lives below the poverty datum line, life expectancy has declined dramatically in many countries and food insecurity and malnutrition are persisting socio-economic challenges facing the region. The states in Southern Africa have tended to approach economic governance and development policy formulation from a top down and exclusionary manner.
Citizens and civic organizations do not have a space to engage and economic development strategies continue to serve markets at the expense of basic socio-economic needs of the population. This reality makes Southern Africa an inescapable fertile ground for economic, social and cultural rights advocacy.
Masego is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Economic Justice programme of work; facilitation and networking with stakeholders and donors; managing grants; research and advocacy and working with economic justice networks, trade, debt and aid advocacy groups, parliamentary portfolio committees, conservation and environmental organisations working on natural resource governance and socio-economic & cultural rights, climate justice networks and other social and economic movements.
For more information on OSISA and its programmes visit http://www.osisa.org/