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New and Ideas

New and Ideas (15)

African philanthropic institutions are demonstrating how donors can more effectively foster independent action and strengthen movements for change. This different approach may hold the key to durable developmenton the continent.
By Elizabeth Coleman and Halima Mahomed

Although many donors recognize that top-down approaches and solutions that are not rooted in context are less likely to succeed, few manage to include partners and beneficiaries in decision making in very meaningful ways. One of the exceptions is TrustAfrica, an independent foundation based in Africa and led by Africans. It was established in 2006 to practice a kind of philanthropy that not only benefits Africans but actively supports their agency.

It is also the subject of a new book, Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s First Decade. As the book’s editors, we sought to understand what this kind of African philanthropy looks like in practice and what difference it has made. In our analysis, five elements stand out:

Last modified on Thursday, 24 November 2016 13:22

15 November, 2016 - 31 December, 2016

Curated by ''la Caixa'' Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Erste Stiftung, European Cultural Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Fondation de France, Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione CRT, Fondazione di Venezia, Fritt Ord Foundation, Fundación ONCE, Körber-Stiftung, Mama Cash, Mozaik Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Estonia Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Stefan Batory Foundation, The Velux Foundations, TrustAfrica,

EFC’s brand new ‘Championing Philanthropy’ exhibition is open from 15 November until the end of the year.  Championing Philanthropy showcases how institutional philanthropy improves lives through projects by its members, and brings to life a wide range of projects that have been devised and carried out by members of the European Foundation Centre’s Governing Council.

Last modified on Thursday, 20 April 2017 12:05

The story behind the well: A case study of successful community development in Makutano, Kenya
Download the book.
In August 2010, following the post-election violence of 2008, Kenyans voted overwhelmingly for a new constitution. This was a development of huge importance, not least because there had been many previous attempts to overhaul the old constitution.But the new version was also a far-reaching document, the significance of which in advocating wide-scale reforms – such as offering devolved constituency-based governments, decentralization and control of financial resources and decision making as well as unprecedented space for civil society to hold the State to account – cannot be overestimated. At the same time, translating the ideals of this constitution into reality could be a lengthy and complicated process, given the difficult political context in Kenya..

Download the conference publication here

We are honoured by your participation at this our 10th year anniversary celebration conference on philanthropy and Africa’s development. By honouring us with your presence and recognising this significant milestone together with us, you are contributing to the process of shaping our future. As we mark TrustAfrica’s 10-year anniversary we are also unveiling TrustAfrica’s new strategy for the period 2016 – 2020. Our goal under the new strategy is to advance political economic and social justice in Africa by tackling a number of priority thematic issues. These issues which have found expression in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the African Mining Vision, the African Union’s Transitional Justice Policy Framework as well as the Sustainable Development Goals will be a major focus of the next phase of TrustAfrica’s programming. We are humbled by your support not only today but in the decade that has brought us to this point. We welcome you. Thank you.

Last modified on Monday, 05 December 2016 13:20

By Tendai Murisa, chief executive officer of TrustAfrica.

There is a growing recognition of the role that philanthropy can play in Africa’s quest for equitable and democratic transformation. Until recently, philanthropy (and, more broadly, aid) has mostly been viewed as a form of support given from outside the continent. Indeed, the story of Africa’s liberation and even early post-independence development initiatives would have been very different if it were not for the investments made by a number of philanthropic foundations based outside the continent. However, there is a new excitement in the continent around the possibilities of home-grown philanthropy. Many important strategy documents have been developed about the key role for philanthropy: at a continental level, the African Union’s Agenda 2063; at a regional level, the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015–2063; and at a national level, strategies such as those in Rwanda.

Since the turn of the century the continent has seen a growth in the number of wealthy individuals (those with an annual income of more than $150,000 or with investible assets of more than $500,000). According to a 2013 report by UBS and TrustAfrica,1 there are approximately 130,000 millionaires across the conti- nent, and more foundations have been established in this period than at any other moment in the history of Africa. Africa’s richest man is estimated to be worth $21.6 billion. Africa’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) have been making significant philanthropic investments in health, education, entrepreneurial de- velopment and infrastructure improvements, in the process helping to counter the begging-bowl narra- tive that has so strongly defined African development discourse over the decades.

Last modified on Friday, 02 September 2016 17:26

The global community of development practitioners should take pride in the achievement of a consensus move from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the SDGs. The process has not been smooth. There are still disagreements regarding the priorities, and on the naming and framing of problems. Criticisms still abound on how the goals and decisions were finally made.

The SDGs will be put in place with other regionally agreed development protocols, such as the accord that emerged from the Paris Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP) and global initiatives for food security and improved access to medicines.

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 12:32

A Watershed Moment for African Philanthropy
Tendai Murisa

The AGN finally managed to successfully host its bi-annual assembly in Arusha, Tanzania. The assembly was initially supposed to have been held in Accra in 2014 but the Ebola outbreak and the Government of Ghana’s subsequent ban on International Conferences left the organizers with no choice but to look for an alternative venue. It was worth waiting for. The discussions that took place focused on the significance of the emergent African philanthropy sector, its aspirations without being naïve to the potential constraints and pitfalls in the African and global context and the role of African philanthropy in promoting social justice across sectors. In this article I will focus on some of the difficult conversations that took place regarding the space, role and future of African philanthropy.

“It’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of conception, a matter of understanding substantive equality and the power dynamic in society. In many parts of the African continent we come from a patriarchal structure and that flows out into everyday life. Philanthropy and power can’t be delinked from the issue of identity, and whose identity allows them to have a bigger say is critical.”

By Chris de la Torre

When you ask Halima Mahomed if women indeed represent 70% of the world’s poor, she’ll tell you not to be worried so much with the exact number, but rather to acknowledge that women do make up the majority of those who bear the brunt of poverty, discrimination and marginalisation. Mahomed attributes this to an imbalance of power, admitting the need for a more activist agenda that puts women in decision making positions both personally and in society.

 

39_Halima_Mahomed

Photo courtesy Alliance magazine

 

 


Philanthropy as Active Citizenship 

Neville Gabriel 
 
A prominent philanthropy platform executive wondered aloud with me whether my commitment to social justice activism could be a hindrance to facilitating the practice of major philanthropists. The worlds of philanthropy and social justice often seem worlds apart. This may be one of the strongest unresolved tensions that strain the emergence of the field of African philanthropy within a global community of practice: how to do philanthropy in a situation where social and economic justice matters greatly. 
 
The philanthropic sphere has come across as the preserve of an elite set of very smart and well-connected people who quietly and comfortably go about doing great things to make life better for others – often behind the scenes and without causing too much trouble. Philanthropy has, until recently, been identified with an elite club of powerful and respectable people who influence the world positively through big money. 
 
Similarly, activists have seemed like extraordinary champions of social, economic, and environmental justice who held the moral high ground far above the rest of us. Although more troublesome, they were modeled as the elite vanguard in rightness of thought and action for human dignity and the integrity of the earth. 
 
Yet, the biggest fault lines of human progress in the world today are exactly about the capture of social and economic power by elites – of whatever sort. Amongst the greatest contradictions in an increasingly democratized world has been the simultaneous increase in the concentration of power in the hands of fewer people. Even if the concentration of power is shifting poles from North to South. 

In September 2013, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations hosted the first Global South philanthropy platform, Empowering Families for Innovative Philanthropy (ERFIP) in Megève, France. ERFIP is a distinctively unique platform, which brings together philanthropists and practitioners from emerging economies to share best practices, successful models and challenges for peer review and feedback.
 
ERFIP focused on identifying philanthropists and professionals whose work has significant impact in their respective communities but are not seen enough on the conference circuits. The aim of this report is to give a sense of the driving force behind the giving and philanthropy in the three regions: Africa, Asia and the Arab region. It is hoped that such thorough understanding of the underlying factors for giving and philanthropy will help in collection of data that is relevant, meaningful to the sector and contributes to better representation of the South within Global Philanthropy.  To view the report, please visit our Publications database and search under "Research Reports."

Clinton Gathering Closes In New York

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
September 24, 2010

By Caroline Preston

Former President Bill Clinton’s annual philanthropy meeting wrapped up Thursday, with appearances from President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Bill Gates.

Off the Pitch: African Philanthropy Comes Into Its Own

Philantopic
July 13, 2010

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