TrustAfrica’s philanthropy work seeks to leverage new and traditional forms of African giving to advance economic, political and social justice. Cultivating indigenous philanthropic resources can support and strengthen African agency, shifting the balance of power back towards the continent and reclaiming African ownership of African agendas.
Africa is home to a deeply rooted culture of giving and mutual support. Building knowledge of these traditions is fundamental to enabling African narratives of giving to take an equal space alongside more formalized philanthropic mechanisms. To that end, we produced Giving to Help and Helping to Give: The Context and Politics of African Philanthropy, among other publications.
We have also produced research on philanthropic trends, for example, Africa’s Wealthy Give Back, a report published in concert with UBS on giving by high-net-worth Africans.
The book, Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s first decade, independent authors examine the work of TrustAfrica and its partners in an effort to better understand the kind of philanthropy that is not only based in Africa but that prioritises African agency.
TrustAfrica helped establish the African Philanthropy Network (APN) and continues to play a key role as an active member and supporter.
By 2015, lagging economic growth and the collapse of Africa’s major currencies had begun to undermine the ‘Africa rising’ narrative. Add to that the vast toll of the Ebola virus and resurgence of conflict in places like Mali, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Northern Cameroon and Burundi.
But 2015 brought positive news as well. While international experts forecast a renewal of election-related violence in Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, both presidential elections were conducted in a peaceful manner. And in neighboring Burkina Faso, citizen mobilization brought down strongman Blaise Compaore, ushering in a new era of democratic governance and popular participation.T
On 31 May 2015, TrustAfrica hosted a meeting on the margins of the Dakar Conference on “the Habré trial, Complementarity and Universal Jurisdiction”. Various key civil society actors working in the field of international criminal justice were convened to provide updates on Africa state interactions with the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as to strategize around the African Union (AU)-ICC relationship.
Looking back, Looking ahead: African Philanthropy for Socio-Economic and Political Justice in the 21st Century
As we mark TrustAfrica’s 10 years anniversary we are also unveiling the organization’s new strategy for 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.
A lot has changed in the African political, economic and social context since 10 years ago. While the continent has made signifcant progress in reducing the overall level of violent conflict, the resurgence of violence in countries like Burundi, Central Africa Republic and South Sudan point to continuing fragility and the need to invest in building enduring peace. Terrorism and violent extremism have also emerged as a major challenge across the Sahel region, and especially in places like Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, and Libya. To address this challenge, TrustAfrica works to advance local accountabilty mechanisms to combat the culture of impunity which is at the root of cyclical violence. We are encouraged by the progress made at the continental level to advance post-conflict accountability mechanisms through the African Transitiional Justice Policy Framework and expanded mandate of the African Court on Humans and Peoples’ Rights. While tremendous progress has been made in reversing the scourge of HIV/AIDS across the continent, the devastation from the recent Ebola epidemic exposed the weakness of health systems and the continent’s poor capacity to respond to such emergencies.
On the economic development front, the “hopeless continent” narrative has been replaced with a focus on “Africa rising”. While significantly more optimistic, this narrative at times over simplifies Africa’s trajectory and overlooks the deep contradictions hidden beneath rising GDP. The fruits of economic growth have largely been concentrated in the hands of a few local and international corporate and political elites resulting in growing inequality. Tax dodging and illicit financial flows by multinational corporations have also limited benefits accruing to African economies. In many instances growth, especially from the extractive sector, has come at the expense of the environment with serious consequences for local communities.
These fundamental issues which 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 for the next phase of TrustAfrica’s programming.
On Monday, May 30, 2016, the Extraordinary African Chambers in charge of the trial of former Chadian President, Hissène Habré delivered its verdict after 4 months of hearings and over 3 months deliberations.
On behalf of the Court, Presiding Judge Gustave Kam Gberdao found the former strongman of Ndjamena guilty of crimes against humanity and torture. In the verdict, the Court also convicted Hissène Habré of acts of sexual violence and rape. These charges were absent from the initial indictment. However, they were brought to light by civil parties and their lawyers during the hearings.
Hissène Habré was sentenced to life imprisonment. Subsequently, the Court granted 15 days to the accused counsels to appeal the decision.
|Download the report here|
The reports summarizes the proceedings of a multinational convening organized under Trust Africa’s “Building an Advocacy Movement for Equitable and Sustainable Agriculture in Africa” project held on 24 to 26 November 2014 under the theme “Strengthening smallholder agriculture in Africa: Prospects for mobilization and advocacy”. The convening brought together stakeholders, partners, and researchers, program staff from TrustAfrica and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The convening provided a timely platform to reinvigorate discussions on how to sustain the agenda for a more inclusive and sustainable agriculture amongst a broad base of non-state actors with government actors. The convening was also used to launch the discussion on the second phase of TrustAfrica’s advocacy actions and movement building for sustainable agriculture project. The convening took the approach of setting the broader context and understanding the characteristic challenges and gaps of smallholder agriculture.
Children who start school late in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties now have a chance to catch up with their agemates.
This has been due to a new curriculum which uses learning techniques that enable them to be moved to a class commensurate with their ages.
20th July, 2015, Dakar, Senegal: The trial of former Chadian President Hissène Habré, accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, began before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. The alleged crimes were committed during Habré’s regime from 1982 to 1990, when an estimated 40,000 people are reported to have died or disappeared.
SRT grantee, TrustAfrica have enhanced independent coverage of the Habré trial through their International Criminal Justice (ICJ) Fund who worked closely with a consortium of civil society organizations and Senegalese law graduates. The ICJ Fund trained a group of law graduates from the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar, to monitor, document and provide daily reports on the proceedings in both French and English across various platforms. The work of these students provides an invaluable resource to ensure there is an independent platform of informed actors who can provide accurate and timely analysis of the proceedings, and share this information in Africa and beyond.