The GEN Africa conference in Ghana

Dec 22, 16 The GEN Africa conference in Ghana

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THURSDAY . SHARE EXPERIENCES

In early December, Macaco Tamerice traveled to Ghana as facilitator of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)  conference. After 23 hours of travel, she arrived in Accra and went to the hotel where almost all the participants of the conference were staying, 56 in total. The next morning everyone went on a large bus to reach the destination, the Permaculture Institute of Ghana in Techiman, nine hours away.

albergoGhana is one of the most democratic countries in Africa. The atmosphere is friendly and expansive. There are new buildings everywhere and things are quite orderly. It is a country where there is enough rain, so there is a lot of green space with many palms, mango and papaya trees on a flat landscape which, after a few hours by bus, turn into some gentle hills.

The following day, December 2nd, the conference began. Ousmane Pame was among the participants. He is the President of GEN Africa and is from the Guede Chantier community in Senegal, which is a sister community of Damanhur. were representatives of many African countries. Africa is a continent to be discovered. The idea that we have of Africa here in the Western world is often marred by prejudice. In reality, there are many growing sectors, and above all a highly developed social aspect of life. The relationship between people is a priority for the Africans. In Ghana you can perceive the importance of the relationships by how they greet each other with outstretched hands, looking into each others’ eyes. People seem self-confident, but with serenity, kindness and mutual respect.

Macaco was invited to co-facilitate the conference – one of the reasons was her experience in conflict resolution – salaalong with another member of the GEN council of sages, Visolela Namises, who is from Namibia. During the afternoon of the first day and the following days, there was space for a sharing circle, where all the personal experiences could be expressed, even ones that were sometimes conflicting, among the people who are creating the still young and very complex organization of GEN Africa.

The meeting was useful to develop the strategy for the implementation of an important project for expanding ecovillages in Africa, the “Pan African Ecovillage Development Program.” Projects were developed with several African governments, which had been contacted during the COP 22 in Marrakesh, and tensions between people were melted.

There are many African governments interested in supporting the creation of ecovillages in their countries because delegati-gen-africathese groups are seen as a modern alternative that create positive prospects. There are projects and very interesting groups, again thanks to some very determined people who devote their lives to an ideal, even in countries that are politically difficult at times, where those who are very active may find themselves with a high price to pay.

Many participants were deeply impressed and surprised, learning from Macaco about the existence of a community like Damanhur, which seems like a dream come true, a place that many want to visit.

 

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