Exclusive Interview: Africa Diversity and Inclusion Center Director Ipolito Mubiru Discusses Pandemic Violence, Minority Rights and Inclusion Efforts Across the Continent.

Established in 2018, African Diversity and Inclusion Center (ADIC) is a Pan-African organization that promotes diversity, Equality, Equity, and Inclusion in Africa through education and training, research and documentation, policy analysis and recommendations, and Events management. We had a brief exclusive interview with Founder and Director, Ippolito Mubiru to discuss ADIC, ADIIL, pandemic violence, and future prospects.

Tell us about ADIC and the ADIIL

African Diversity and Inclusion Center-ADIC is a Pan-African nonprofit organization working with diverse communities to push for the inclusion of women, youths, and minority groups of people in Africa, at the workplace, and in society. As a Civil Society Organization, ADIC, achieves its mission by partnering with Governments, Civil Society, and Corporations throughout Africa to help facilitate meaningful and worthwhile changes leading to the creation of more Diverse and Inclusive workplaces and societies.

African Diversity and Inclusion Influential Lists (ADIIL) list comprising of individuals from different settings who work together to foster diversity and inclusion from different fronts for women, youths and minority groups of people all across the continent.

“…..we are looking for that exceptional achiever, not necessarily because they have all the tools at their disposal but because they go the extra mile in working to help different groups of people achieve their rights thus driving Africa towards becoming an inclusive society.”

Why women, youths, and minority groups of people?

In history and now, women, youths, and minority groups of people have historically been consistently deprived of their fundamental rights by those in power mostly men. When reviewed rightly it is these groups of people that are at the bottom of the pyramid and thus receive little if anything of the national cake, so we shed light on all the injustices being faced by these groups while working on different programs with a number of partners to cause change leading to the equality and inclusion we seek to see.

African Diversity and Inclusion Center Economic Misfit

What are you looking for, in order for people to qualify to be on the lists?

We started by looking for 40 influential people in the categories of women, youths, and minority groups of people, and 20 men who matter. These people were chosen from different backgrounds and different sets of achievements which definitely are outstanding in their own right. Therefore, we are looking for that exceptional achiever, not necessarily because they have all the tools at their disposal but because they go the extra mile in working to help different groups of people achieve their rights thus driving Africa towards becoming an inclusive society.

Any rubric used during the scoring?

We looked at the achievements of a particular individual. We also looked at the odds that always have to be overcome as any particular individual worked on a particular initiative. We also considered the resources at hand, the particular group being served by this individual, and the innovations in place to see their visions coming to reality.

Tell us about the judges.

The initial idea was to get judges from donor agencies, CSO veteran leaders, and journalists. We believed that donors have funded these outstanding projects, CSO leaders have worked alongside these leaders and journalists have covered the stories. It was a tedious work yet we managed to get CSO leaders and donors on board. These are people who have spent countless times working to help Africa become a better continent through different initiatives and we trust they performed outstanding work.

Any other programs you are running at ADIC?

Sure, apart from having the liberty to carry on any programs we deem necessary in partnership with different donors, we have a program under development. We are working with partners to develop the diversity and inclusion fellowship supported by major donors, together with an annual summit which aims to bring together leaders from different spheres to discuss diversity and inclusion on the African continent.

This is a trying time for everyone and there have has been reports of gross human rights violations across Africa, especially for women and minorities. What do you say about it?

In March when African governments started enforcing mandatory lockdowns and curfews for citizens, there was a public outcry of citizens whose rights were grossly abused. From Rape cases in Burundi and Rwanda by security forces to beating and arrests of women and marginalised community members in Uganda, however as top political leaders came to the rescue of citizens, sanity turned to the public and all these are no longer taking the case. We have however witnesses rise in the number of cases of Gender-Based Violence in homes as partners and spouses have to put up being together for longer times.

Gender Based violence in Africa, Economic Misfit

What should we expect more from African Diversity and Inclusion Center-ADIC?

A lot, apart from preparing yet other lists to come, we are looking forward to collaborating with National, Regional and the African Union to push for an inclusive and equal Africa where Women, youths and minority groups of people are all treated as equals in the African we want to see.

We seek to collaborate with corporations especially for equality, equity, and inclusion at the workplace, policymakers, researchers, training experts, and event planners and funding institutions to make this a reality.

CSOs, UN agencies, among others as we carry through the D&I agenda across the continent.

Any last word

We call upon all members cognizant of the fact that our continent is not where it is supposed to be, to bring onboard expertise in organizational development, resource mobilization, program development, while others to work alongside us and cheer us on as we work together to create the Africa we want to see. Those interested can always get back to us via social media and through the website.

Ippolito T. Mubiru is the founder and CEO of African Diversity and Inclusion Center, A Pan African organization working to foster diversity and inclusion for women, youths, and minority groups of people across the African continent. Through the African Diversity and Inclusion Influential Lists, they are working to help showcase the best of what Africans are doing to foster Diversity and Inclusion on the continent.