The Big Picture
We all know that our planet Earth is in peril. Global warming, plastic pollution, marine environment degradation, human-animal conflict, safety and security, poverty, hunger - these are world-wide concerns. Specifically in Africa.
So what is Africa doing about it?
Well, that's why the Walk4Africa (W4A) initiative is being created. It's a continent-wide public participation event in the form of a walkathon covering 38 coastal countries and island states in Africa.
What's the Aim?
W4A aims to give Africa a voice in the United Nations (UN) 75th anniversary (#UN75) 2020 deliberations, to educate African citizens on the UNs' Sustainable Tourism Development Goals (SDGs), and to create global awareness on Sustainable Tourism in Africa.
We’ll do this by collecting local research data; by creating awareness of the SDGs through mass participation, action and education; by showcasing Africa’s natural and cultural heritage assets to global audiences; by means of a sustained, decade-long walkathon around Africa’s coastline.
What's the Plan?
The first step will be taken from the southernmost tip of Africa to Cape Town, then on to the Namibia Border. From there the walkathons will continue, in a clockwise direction, along the coastlines of each of Africa’s 38 coastal countries - a distance of approximately 40,000 km / 25,000 miles (about 52,5 million steps) - over a sustained period of 10 years, culminating in 2030 to coincide with the realization of the UN's SDGs objectives.
Leg 1: South Africa - Cape Agulhas to Cape Town
W4A will kick-off at the Southernmost tip of Africa, at Cape Agulhas, on 14 September 2020 and walk 360 km / 224 miles to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town for the official launch, to coincide with World Tourism Day on the 27th.
Before that can happen, though, W4A needs to be registered as an NPO. That's where YOU come in. Your donation today will make this first-step happen.
Leg 2: South Africa - Cape Town to Namibia
From the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, we'll continue the journey by walking ±782 km / 586 miles to reach Alexander Bay on the Namibian border about 25-days later.
Leg 3: Namibia to Angola and Beyond
On the Namibia side, a new team of local W4A members will take over the walk, from the Skeleton Coast all the way along the coastline to Angola.
And so the process will repeat itself in a clockwise direction, circumnavigating Africa's coastline, and ending back in South Africa at Cape Agulhas by 2030 to coincide with the United Nations' Sustainable Tourism Development Goals (SDGs) objective.
The W4A walkathon has legs and will keep walking for a decade to benefit generations to come. Join us as a founding member today and help us to take the first of 52 million steps.
Who Are We?
Right now, W4A is you and me (and a team of 62 founding members in 27 of the 38 African countries with more joining daily). It will become "we" as hundreds of founding members join the initiative and become "us" when thousands, and then millions of supporters follow us.
For this first crowdfunding appeal, W4A is being launched as a project of my media business (see About Me). The first step is to register W4A as a non-profit organisation (NPO), secure insurance cover, appoint auditors to ensure transparency, and order a limited supply of branded W4A merchandise.
Given the scope of this initiative, W4A will be launched in South Africa first in 2020 (and end last in 2030). Each of the remaining 37 country walkathons will be activated thereafter, with between 2-9 events planned each year from 2021 through to 2029. Each of these events will be organised by host country steering committees - 27 of which are already in place (read more about this in my LinkedIn article).
I'm a 60-something-year-old travel writer and publisher of news, views, and reviews about tourism in Africa via my blog at TourismTattler.com. I'm a Durban born South African and am passionate about changing Africa's historical narrative from a continent that needs saving, to a continent that is thriving.
To do that, W4A needs to tell Africa's story in a unique and positive way, and the best way is by mobilizing a collective collaboration that speaks for all segments of society - from classrooms to boardrooms, parliaments to village halls - with special emphasis on youth and those whose voices are too often marginalized or not heard in global affairs.
With your help, W4A can, and will, do that.
How can YOU get involved?
There are several ways to get involved. Here are a few examples:
- DONATE. Make a donation for any amount today. By doing so, you'll be acknowledged as a founding member when the website is launched.
- FUNDRAISE. Sign up as a fundraiser. There will be great prizes for the top 5 leaderboard teams, such as 7-nights glamping (luxury camping) with meals and refreshments for two along any country/route of your choice.
- ORGANIZE. If you're a talented organizer, or perhaps even own an event organizing business, you can help with planning and logistics. There's a long list of 'things-to-do' that W4A needs your help with.
- LOBBY. W4A country steering committees need to motivate the participation of governments, of university research programs, of environmental lobby groups, of schools and community organizations, of industry associations, of media partners, etcetera, etc.
- SPONSOR. Corporate and institutional sponsors are critical to the success of this initiative.
- PARTICIPATE. You can join the walk in any of the 38 countries as each is launched, and for any distance.
SHARE. Spread the word via your own social groups to help generate awareness.
What will your money be used for?
$1,000 will be used to register the Walk4Africa project as a non-profit organisation (NPO) and to Secure Directors & Officers liability insurance for the NPO board. $4,000 will be used to appoint an accounting/auditing firm for bookkeeping in the 1st year and to purchase a limited supply of branded merchandise.
Once this target has been attained, we'll be looking for a second tranche of crowdfunding to fund the walk4africa.org website creation, route plans, and walkathon registration database for each of the 38 countries. We'll also need to order more branded merchandise to be used for crowdfunding incentives and imagery on the website.
Once that's in place, walkathon registrations, sponsors, and funding grants will cover ongoing costs in each country.Below are the milestones and what the money raised will be spent on.
2020: South Africa - Legs 1&2 = 1,142 km / 29 days.
FEB: Legal - NPO Registration. Registration of a non-profit organisation in South Africa, legal documentation (T&Cs, rules, indemnity forms, etc) + Insurance: Secure Directors & Officers liability insurance for NPO board.
Budget: $1,000 USD
MAR: Financial/Accounting - Appoint accounting/auditing firm, set-up bookkeeping for 1st year, and order branded T-shirts.
Budget: ±$4,400 USD
APR/MAY: Launch Step 2 Crowdfunding appeal for website development and marketing collateral.
JUN: Recce route from Cape Agulhas to Namibia to GPS daily start and overnight camp locations.
JUL: Launch South Africa walkathon marketing and registration.
AUG: Contract Advance Team suppliers, coordinate official launch logistics, & coordinate Support Team participation.
SEP 14th: Begin the Cape Agulhas to V&A Waterfront, Cape Town walkathon.
SEP 27th: Official launch function at V&A Waterfront and begin second leg walkathon to Namibia.
OCT: Legs 1 & 2 of the South Africa walkathon ends near Alexander Bay on the Namibia border.
2021: Namibia, Angola, DR Congo, and the Republic of Congo launch their walkathons. Distance/Duration = 4,265 km / 115 days.
2022: Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 3,876 km / 237 days.
2023: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Gambia, and Cape Verde walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 3,213 km / 134 days.
2024: Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, and Algeria walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 4,697 km / 165 days.
2025: Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 5,152 km / 174 days.
2026: Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 3,264 km / 117 days.
2027: Somalia, and Kenya walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 3,869 km / 152 days.
2028: Tanzania and Mozambique walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 3,869 km / 152 days.
2029: Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles walkathons launch. Distance/Duration = 5,649 km / 278 days.
2030: South Africa Leg 3 of this epic journey concludes by walking from the Mozambique border to end where it started, at Cape Agulhas, in Sep 2030 = 1,656 / 56 days.
Total Distance/Duration = 40,677 km / 1,606 days.