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FACS Newsletter, Issue No. 65, Autumn 2019

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

23 October 2019

Post No. 114



The Week’s Contents


• FACS, Issue No. 65, Autumn 2019 – Key Summaries

• “A la une” Campaign, Note No. 3 (between 23 and 29/10/2019) – In Focus: Biofuel Crops and New Forests

• Coming soon: Making Memorable Difference project, In Focus: African Health History


… and much more!



Key Messages


~ FACS, Issue No. 65, Autumn 2019 – Key Summaries


The 65th Issue of FACS, CENFACS’ Bilingual Newsletter, is ready and available for request. The Issue is about the Development of Micro-Industrial Activities by Africa-based Sister Organisations to Integrate Voluntary Economy into Regional Value Chains.

The key message of this Issue is the outputs created by Africa-based Sister Organisations from the voluntary sector can help create a not-for-profit value that can, in return, help in a series of connected values at regional level; values able to reduce poverty and hardships.

An abstract regarding this Issue was already given at the beginning of this Autumn.  Under the Main Development section of this post, we have provided summaries making this Issue.



~ “A  la une” Campaign, Note No. 3 (between 23 and 29/10/2019) – In Focus: Biofuel Crops and New Forests


Our third note of the “A la une” campaign is on Biofuel Crops and New Forests.  Let’s see these two pitches the third note.


Biofuel Crops

Biofuel is defined from dictionary (1) as an alternative fuel that is produced from biological materials including crops (especially trees) and animal (waste), (p. 48).  Biofuels are fuels directly or indirectly produced from organic material and can be primary or secondary.  They can as well be in the forms of bioalcohol or biodiesel.  They are a way of reducing consumption of fossil fuels.  Biofuel crops are simply fuels made from plants and crops (such as corn, soybeans and sugarcane).

In relation to “A la une” campaign, we will be exploring further biofuel crops as an alternative fuel in terms of its advantages and disadvantages, costs and benefits, affordability for the poor and those in most incomes. This is despite the problem of competition they pose with food crops for land and their prices.

We shall as well work for its relatively measured impact on the Upkeep of the Nature, the theme of this third note.  It is understood that biofuels burn cleaner than fossil fuels, releasing pollutants and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

(1) Park, C. (2011), A Dictionary of Environment and Conservation, Oxford University Press Inc., Oxford & New York


New Forests

This is our second pitch of coordinated activities in order to achieve the theme of the Upkeep of the Nature.  Our operation in this pitch is to support and campaign for afforestation (forestation or reforestation), the creation of new habitats for wildlife and the general upkeep of the nature. 

The campaign will go further in dealing with the following:

√ The development of new forest skills

√ The restoration of lost habitats

√ The celebration of forest culture

√ Techniques for inspiration of the current and future generations about the soundness of forests, etc

To find out more and or support “A la une“ Campaign, please contact CENFACS.




~ Making Memorable Difference project: African Health History


A celebration of African Abilities, Talents, Skills and Gifts to Africa and the world

This year’s dedicated two days (27 and 28 October 2019) are of historical study, analysis and skill recognition and celebration of the legacies left by Africans in the Health History in Africa.  We will search on the African Health History during these two days in the following ways

27 October 2019 will be an Understanding Day of African Health History in relation to epidemics and viruses

The first day is about learning more about the kinds of epidemics and viruses that Africa went through in pre-colonial and post-colonial times.  This health history will be done in scale and scope.  References will be given about the places where these epidemics and viruses happened, knowing that there were not enough health facilities at that time.  This understanding will also be expanded to the health knowledge at that time while making some incursions about poverty linked to poor health situation.


28 October 2019 will be the Legacies and Gifts Day of African Epidemics and Virus Healers

This second will therefore help us to find out how good or bad Africans were in healing epidemics and viruses.  It is as well the day of learning the coping strategies in terms of healing these deadly diseases.  In doing so, we will try extirpate their legacies and gifts as healers and doctors on their own ways against deadly epidemics and viruses.  Finally, the day will help to draw historical parallel with what is happening now in places like the DRC and others in terms of deadly diseases. 

To engage with this year’s MMD theme and or support this project, please contact CENFACS on this site. 





Extra Messages


~ “Quadranscentennial” Historicité: History Evaluation of CENFACS – Overseas Development Non Governmental Organisations


We are continuing our investigation about the links between CENFACS and other development organisations.  Last week, we scrutinised the links between CENFACS and African Diaspora Organisations, particularly with African Diaspora Voices for Africa’s Development.

This week, we are assessing the worth of the membership of CENFACS with Non Governmental Organisations, particularly with BOND, in terms of the relevancy of CENFACS’ needs during the membership period and thereafter.  We are more carefully looking at to consider the merits and legacies of this membership.

In this history evaluative process, we shall for example try to respond to the following questions:

What did motivate CENFACS to become member of NGOs?

What were the legacies of this membership?

Did this relation strengthen or weaken CENFACS?

What did CENFACS bring to these organisations?

Did this relation advance CENFACS’ networking platform?

What historical lessons can be learnt for CENFACS’ future and future membership development policy at CENFACS?


~ Art and Design for Poverty Relief and Sustainable Development


As part of Art and Design Project for poverty relief and sustainable development, we are asking supporters to illustrate their ideas of Africa’s Health History into artwork.  You can post your artwork related to Africa’s Health History to CENFACS to share and make memorable difference in your own way.


~ Micro-Volunteer doing Smart Tasks with Smart Tools


We have started to use micro-volunteering by doing smart tasks with smart tools and techs (such as smart phones, tablets, development of gadgets, tech fixes, etc.) to re-engage with our supporters. 

Smart tasks are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound tasks and activities to generate and increase support towards our good and deserving causes.

These tasks briefly include the following: prospecting potential supporters, running questionnaires, recruiting new supporters, engaging with supporters, sending and receiving messages from supporter, following the leads etc.

To enable us to continue our work, we are asking to those who can, both individuals and organisations, to support us with smart tools to enhance our micro-voluntary work.

To support CENFACS with Smart Tools and techs to Micro Volunteer doing Smart tasks, please contact CENFACS.





Main Development


What the 65th Issue is about

What we are interested in is the outputs created by voluntary organisations through the manufacturing or construction of goods (using small manufacturing facilities) from no direct inputs of natural resources.  The literature on manufacturing says that manufacturing is a proven development model for job creation, poverty reduction, income generation and sustained prosperity.

We are arguing about processes or activities carried out by Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) undertaking micro-industrial activities and belonging to the voluntary economy; processes and activities that create value for their beneficiaries and members.  They add value to an article at all stages of production, marketing and after delivery.

The notion of value often refers to business models that create profit margin between value created and captured on one hand and the cost of creating that that value on the other (with profit margin).  In the model depicts in this Issue, this difference does not create profit; it creates social impact (with zero margin).  If there is a positive margin; this will be reinvested without being redistributed amongst board members and other stakeholders.

The most important in this mechanism is that the development of these activities by ASOs enables them to make up their local voluntary economy and integrate it into regional value chains.  In doing so, this will make job creation, poverty reduction and other benefits even bigger.      

The following summary pages making this Issue expand on what we have just described.



Micro-industrial development and its impacts on poverty reduction in Africa (Page 2)

Industry as a particular way of organising production and a constant process of technical and social change can increase society’s capacity to produce a wide range of goods (p. 6), as argued by these three editors: Hewitt, Johnson and Wield (2).  It can as well enhance society’s capacity to reduce poverty.  This can happen whether it is about micro or meso or even macro-industry.  This impact can happen in any place of the world. 

Because we are dealing with Africa, this process of social and technical change can happen there at the level of small scale industrial activities run and developed by individuals, families, communities and organisations to come out poverty.  This is possible despite the limits of such approach to eradicate local or national poverty. 

For example, a small clothes maker can help reduce clothing poverty as it may be closer to the poor although a garment making factory can employ a hundred of thousands people may have more or a significant impact as a clothing industry.

(2) Hewitt, T., Johnson, H. & Wield, D. (1992), Introduction in Industrialisation and Development, edited by them for an Open University Course Team, Oxford University Press, Oxford in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes


Identification of micro-industrial activities of voluntary Africa-based Organisations (Page 3)

Often, when reference is made to the voluntary or not-for-profit organisations, activities that portray them are those of advice, aid provision, training, education, skills development, humanitarian relief, etc.  This reference suggests that there is not a process of transformation or manufacturing going on in these organisations.  This reference is often related to service sector because of the not-for-profit nature and status of these organisations.  Only few references are made about their industrial capacity and credentials.

The identification of micro-industrial activities by voluntary organisations shows that voluntary Africa-based Organisations (VASOs) are engaging in a number of activities that manufacture or construct goods in areas such as textiles, clothing making, wood, metal products etc.  They can process textile; make clothes; produce wood-based products, etc like some of VASOs in CENFACS areas of operation in Africa. 


Relationships between the voluntary economy and domestic value chains via micro-industrial activities by Africa-based Sister Organisations (Page 4)

The voluntary economy is this part of the economy that is represented by volunteer-involving organisations.  Value chain is a set of activities that an organisation can undertake to create value for its clients according to Michael Porter in book published in 1985 and titled ‘Competitive Advantage’.  If we follow Porter’s framework of analysis, we would have primary activities (i.e. inbound and outbound logistics, operations, marketing and sales, service) and support activities (procurement, human resource management, technological development and infrastructure). 

Because we are talking about voluntary organisations, we would rather say the value created for beneficiaries.  The voluntary economy is based on not-for-profit value.  Value chains theory or analysis as described above is about value creation.  If the not-for-profit value created by voluntary Africa-based Sister Organisations making the voluntary economy can be part of domestic value chains, then there could be a relationship between the voluntary economy and domestic value chains via micro-industrial activities by Africa-based Sister Organisations.  However, the direction and the level may depend on the quality of this relationship.


Relations between micro-industrial activities and voluntary economy in the African context (Page 4)

The reading of economics literature and the experiences found on the grounds tell us that voluntary economy is a system which attempts to solve the basic economic problem of the allocation of scarce economic resources (e.g. natural resources, labour, capital, etc.) amongst infinite human wants with no expectations of financial reward.  This type of economy is made with unpaid workers but supported by freely given donations and tends to be labour-intense.  This type of economy can be found anywhere in the world including in Africa. 

Micro-industrial activities are any specific actions taken to manufacture or construct goods.  If these actions are carried out without any expectations of financial rewards by unpaid workers, then one can argue that there is a link between micro-industrial activities and the voluntary economy like we have seen in some of the voluntary African-based Sister Organisations.




L’intégration de l’économie volontaire dans des chaînes des valeurs (Page 5)

L’essentiel des rapports de nos collègues africains sur le terrain en Afrique suggère que l’une des questions à résoudre porte sur la mesure dans laquelle une bonne intégration de cette fraction de l’économie représentée par des organisations du secteur volontaire ou associatif dans des chaînes de valeur régionales et locales.  Car, ils jugent que cette intégration peut améliorer ou contribuer à la réduction de la pauvreté, sans oublier la possibilité d’un rehaussement de la qualité de la vie.

Puisqu’on parle des activités micro-industrielles, cette intégration sera, bien sûr, sur la capacité d’utiliser ce genre d’activités pour réaliser plus de résultats sur la plan de réduction de la pauvreté.  Des exemples avec des organisations combattant la désertification, la déforestation et la sécheresse démontrent que cette économie volontaire, si elle est bien poursuivie, peut avoir un effet déclencheur ou multiplicateur sur des chaînes de valeur entre des organisations et économies de ayant les mêmes objectifs qui sont ceux de combattre la désertification, la déforestation et la sécheresse. 


Réduire la faiblesse du tissu micro-industriel africain pour créer la valeur ‘réduction de la pauvreté’ (Page 6)

La réduction de la pauvreté passe par plusieurs moyens.  Dans le cadre de cet article, nous abordons cette réduction à travers le développement du micro-industriel tissu.

En effet, point n’est besoin de souligner que l’industrie en général a des effets sur l’agriculture et le service secteurs.  Plus le secteur industriel est fort et dynamique, plus ses effets seront considérables.  Plus ce secteur et son tissu sont faibles, plus leurs effets seront peu déterminants et donc peu influents pour réduire la pauvreté. S’il y a encouragement ou incitation de petits industriels du secteur associatif de produire plus, on peut s’attendre à des effets accrus sur la réduction de la pauvreté.  Car, ce secteur et ses produits (biens et services) sont proches de ceux qui vivent dans la pauvreté.

En restant dans le cadre de notre travail avec les organisations africaines du secteur associatif, particulièrement celles qui sont investies dans les activités micro-industrielles, on peut dire qu’il y a lieu de continuer à embrasser la micro-industrie pour résoudre la pauvreté d’aujourd’hui et de demain.  De notre part, nous allons les encourager sur ce chemin.




The industrial capacity of the voluntary economy through its powers and limitations to integrate regional value chains (Page 7)

The voluntary economy is this part of the economy related to the voluntary sector represented by organisations whose key aim is to create social impact rather than profit making.  Generally, they provide services which are part of the service sector and can be the lifeline of the economy.

In this Issue, we are talking about micro-industrial activities or manufacturing of products (goods) in small quantities using small manufacturing facilities.  These activities are run by voluntary Africa-based Sister Organisations (VASOs) although profit making organisations can also set up a voluntary arm.

The VASOs we are dealing with are those that produce small scale goods in the voluntary or third sector.  They try to change inputs into outputs to create poverty reduction value.  Due to the size of the VASOs, the volume of their activities as well as what they can produce (sometimes sale at concessional charges); there are limitations in integrating local and regional value chains. 


African women in micro-industrial activities and the voluntary economy (Page 8)

There are numbers of African women involved in income generating and micro-industrial activities in Africa.  These activities are in many areas of life-sustaining needs such as food production, clothes making, house building or construction, etc.  An example is the transformation of cassava or manioc roots into flour using local methods and basic industrial equipment.

Through their activities they create value to feed their families and communities; value that can be added to make local value chains.  Investing in micro-industrial activities run and developed by these women in Africa can even create more value chain effects and help to reduce poverty further.


Basic Survey about CENFACS’ Advice Service (page 8)

September is CENFACS’ month of advice for individuals and organisations.  In order to help us improve the way in which advice is organised and delivered, particularly our Virtual Advice Open Days and Hours, it will be good to tell us what you think about the way in which advice service is run by CENFACS

You can comment on our advice service via email and or by filling the comment box on our website.

Thank you for your support!


Skills for micro-industrial development and integration (Page 9)

To run micro-industrial activities and to integrate any value chains, it requires the development and upgrade of skills and capacities.  Particularly, this is even important for low- and medium-skilled workers as well as for skill-deprived organisations and areas. It is also relevant to meet changing demand of skills.

Amongst the skills to be developed, there are:

Cognitive, basic computer literacy, vocational, creative, trade, light manufacturing skills; as well as skills for various stages of goods production and to promote regional development etc.


Industrial skills auditing (Page 9)

This is a systematic examination and assessment of the quality and effectiveness of the skills of voluntary Africa-based Sister Organisations (VASOs) with the aim of finding out their appropriateness to the need of delivering micro-industrial development.  It is indeed an inspection of skills, knowledge and capacity to conduct micro-industrial activities.

To develop micro-industrial activities, VASOs need to have a certain level of skills (both in quantity and quality) which they may already have and need improvement if they do not possess them.  Then, these skills need to be developed or upgraded amongst their work force. 

To be able to know the skills they have and the ones they do not have, some skills auditing need to be undertaken.  Skills auditing will determine the skills gap they need to bridge in terms of skills set or base they require.  This audit will provide the necessary information and leads about the kinds of training on industrial skills development they need.


Environmental-friendly Micro-industrial Project, e-f m-i Project (Page 10)

This is an income generating project that aims at reducing poverty and hardships through the production of life-sustaining light micro-industrial goods from no direct inputs of natural resources while having a small environmental impact (by using renewable materials and consuming green items) and bringing a BIG impact on poverty reduction.  It is a volunteer-involving project that will create value that can be added to make up local value chains.

For further details (proposals) about this project and to support, please contact CENFACS.

For a paper copy of the 65th of FACS, please contact CENFACS.


Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going 

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service.

Donate to support CENFACS!


FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2019.

With many thanks.



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