Organisation: PEN International

Amount: £90 000.00

Year: 2014

Duration: 36 months

Country: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia


PEN International is working to strengthen its African network to increase the power of the pen and the written word by creating an enabling environment for writers and journalists to engage in policy advocacy.

The pen and the written word are powerful tools for upholding free expression, cultural rights and health democratic governance. This project is working to fortify the knowledge of people in a group of Commonwealth countries to enhance and support the legislation that underpins these rights and strengthen people’s confidence in them.

PEN International (founded 1921) is a global community of writers, who work to promote literature and defend freedom of expression. The organisation will target measures to build capacity, skills and knowledge at all levels of involvement. Local PEN Centres will participate in policy training to help with advocacy work on local, regional and international levels and a three-year advocacy strategy will map out plans to engage with regional-level forums such as the Africa Commission on Human Rights. 

This work, and more, will serve to leverage the voice and influence of PEN Africa Network members, which will in turn strengthen participatory governance and ensure that every voice and every viewpoint, has its chance to be heard. In Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia, PEN members will gain greater understanding and command of areas including freedom of expression and digital freedom, cultural and linguistic rights and quality education. It will help to empower not just them but the people with whom they work and future generations of writers, journalists and advocates.

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