Shaping the Future we want for Africa
TrustAfrica is a Pan African foundation headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. We were founded with a commitment to strengthen African agency in addressing the continent’s most pressing challenges. We operate from a conviction that Africans must work together to set their own development priorities, informed by the aspirations of African citizens.
TrustAfrica’s programs have focused on strengthening democracy and democratic governance, promoting equitable development, and advancing African philanthropy. Our governance work has been anchored on a strong belief that for Africa to be stable and prosperous citizens must have a voice and actively participate in processes that shape the future of the continent. Our work in this field has included promoting democratic elections, supporting social movements and facilitating citizen participation, promoting transparency and accountability in governance, strengthening constitutionalism and the rule of law, upholding basic human rights and fighting against the culture of impunity.
Under our Equitable Development cluster, we have championed economic and social policies that lead to more inclusive and equitable economic development. This includes initiatives to promote small holder agriculture, with a particular focus on women small scale farmers. We have also supported initiatives to promote transparency, accountability and equity in natural resource governance, as well as domestic resource mobilization through fair taxation and curbing illicit financial flows. Furthermore, we have worked to mobilize African leaders around an agenda to transform the higher education sector in line with Africa’s needs, while promoting early learning innovations.
Through our African Philanthropy program, we have worked towards strengthening and broadening knowledge and understanding of the context, narratives, practice, and potential of African philanthropy to advance social justice in Africa. Our work has been anchored on the belief that by nurturing African philanthropy, the continent can reduce dependency on external resources and chart a more sustainable path to development. We view African philanthropy as part of agency that should be mobilized towards the realization of Africa’s transformation.
Our Track record
We have stewarded over us$80 million in support of African civil society, awarding more than 600 grants to organizations in 34 African countries.
We have built the capacity of civil society to mount effective advocacy campaigns, helping grassroots advocates get results in their communities and in the continent’s top policy arenas.
We have seeded several of Africa’s leading civil society organizations and nurtured and brought attention to groups not previously on the radar of donors.
We have brought new and previously marginalized voices to the table, and new energy to tackling intractable problems like illicit financial flows and resource extraction.
We have played an active role in developing African philanthropy, and have conducted ground-breaking research on the field, its diversity and potential.
At TrustAfrica, we work every day alongside the continent’s change agents
TrustAfrica began in 2006 with the conviction that Africans must set the agenda for tackling our continent’s most pressing challenges. We are an independent philanthropy rooted on the continent, and this is central to what we do and also how we do it.
African citizens living with dignity in a sovereign, just, integrated and prosperous Africa with strong and effective institutions.
We exist to promote responsible citizenship and accountable leadership in addressing Africa’s most pressing challenges.
Our Theory of Change
Our theory of change holds that responsible citizenship and accountable leadership will enable societies to become more stable, more prosperous, more equitable, and just. We believe that if we leverage African and global philanthropic resources to strengthen these two levers and connect issues and connect constituencies, we will catalyze a movement for Africa’s transformation.
Akwasi Aidoo, the founding Executive Director of TrustAfrica, notes that the stories of our institutions are rarely told unless something goes wrong: “The birth stories are never documented. Whether public institutions, academic institutions, or nongovernmental bodies, a large part of organizational memory lives in people’s minds, and once those individuals leave, those who come after lack the correct knowledge about the institution.”
Chronicling the roots and development of TrustAfrica therefore begins a new tradition of telling the stories of our institutions and making it easier to access the organizational landscape. It is our hope that it can provide vision and leadership in setting a standard against which institutional memories can be told and institutional stories in Africa recorded, thus relieving individuals from being the sole repository of organizational memories.
At TrustAfrica, we believe in maintaining the highest standards of institutional performance, including sound management, accountable and transparent governance, effective communication, and sustainable results. We strive to practice what we preach and hope that other African institutions will follow our lead. Two online resources that we have found particularly helpful in this regard are GlassPockets and GuideStar, which has awarded us the GuideStar Exchange Seal in recognition of our high degree of transparency.
In the past year, we have achieved significant milestones in empowering civil society organizations, strengthening governance institutions, and promoting human rights and social justice.
Please browse our annual report for more information on our achievements, challenges, and impact, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions or feedback. Thank you for your support and partnership in advancing transformative change in Africa.