Founder’s Message

The Bridges Institute:
Connecting Africa with Global Partners to Strengthen African Democracy and Governance

Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting the Bridges website and entering our world. You know, democracy is a fragile ideal, constantly besieged somewhere in the world. The Bridges Institute is dedicated to strengthening African democracy and governance by connecting ordinary African citizens to ordinary citizens in the Diaspora, the U.S., the EU and emerging markets countries of China, India, Brazil and South Africa (CHIBA) as well as Turkey and Indonesia.

Please browse our website where you will see the results of our five-year partnership with Mali through our trade-marked “Watch Process.” You also will meet the 25 members of the Africa Policy Group, a bi-partisan group of Africa experts that meets with members of Congress, senior U.S. government decision-makers and African decision-makers when they visit the U.S.

If you are concerned with the on-going low-level violence in the Sahel, our website will introduce you to the Sahel Strategy Forum, a program co-hosted by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that monitors security, governance and sustainable development efforts in the broad swath of territory that spans the continent.

Then follow the progress of our Research and Innovation Fellowship for Agriculture (RIFA) Fellow, Austin Peterson, who will be on the ground in Liberia this summer, 2016, exploring gender sensitivity in extension workers and encouraging women farmers to unite in a coalition to have a greater voice in agriculture decision-making.

Volunteer to work with us to refine a new project using the concept of Ethical Monotheism to deepen understanding of the ethical roots of Islam and Christianity and then highlight the two religions’ commonalities with communities of both groups.

Finally, join us in our awe of African civil society and its dynamism, and our commitment to strengthening that civil society and Bridges as a growing, changing, dynamic organization that evolves as the African democracy scene evolves. It’s going to be an exhilarating experience, so watch this space.

Warm regards,

Vivian Lowery Derryck
Founder and President Emerita