African Philanthropy Conference & Community Immunity

January 24th, 2023

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit countries across the world, we witnessed the withdrawal of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) from Africa, removing expatriate staff and closing down offices, including a restriction of funding if it was not directly related to health services or in some way directed to Covid-19 responses. This meant that local actors and organizations like TrustAfrica had to step in and fill the gap left by INGOs and other bilateral aid institutions, raising local resources and mobilizing efforts, and in many cases increasing the profile of regional champions and philanthropists.  

TrustAfrica’s philanthropic work seeks to leverage new and traditional forms of African giving to advance economic, political, and social justice. At TrustAfrica, we are aware of the unique contributions we make to civil society and communities and are convinced of the power of uniting philanthropy for collective action. Collaboration with various like-minded organizations and institutions will drive the long-term change needed in Africa, and move us closer to an inclusive society where no one is left behind. In August 2021, TrustAfrica is collaborating with the African Philanthropy Forum (APF), the Centre for African Philanthropy and Social Investments (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School, the Southern Africa Trust (SAT), the African Philanthropy Network (APN) and the Harvard University’s Center for African Studies to host the 2021 African Philanthropy Conference from the 3rd to 5th of August. The conference’s theme is “Surviving Covid19: The Role of African Philanthropy” which will further interrogate African philanthropy’s role in local communities across the continent.  To register for the conference follow this link. The concept note and programme is available here.

While the health and economic effects of COVID-19 ripple throughout the world, COVID-19 threatens to plunge one in three Africans into the deep end of poverty. We know the safety of those in our most marginalized communities is our collective immunity, yet awareness of our connection with our vulnerable sisters and brothers is almost non-existent. To respond to this, the Community Immunity Initiative was birthed and serves as another example of our collaborative approach for collective impact in the philanthropic sector to channel resources to the most vulnerable. Community Immunity is a coordinated campaign designed to raise awareness and funding to support those living at the margins of society. Community Immunity is a collaboration between TrustAfrica, Africa Philanthropy Network, and Southern Africa Trust. We understand that our collective immunity is only achieved through unity. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that the fight against poverty and marginalization must be taken up with renewed vigor in Africa and globally. Through this initiative, we hope to provide quick impact support to bring immediate relief to people living at the margins of society. While supporting policy initiatives, research, and advocacy efforts to provide long-term solutions to combat poverty and marginalization at the systemic level and ensure culturally contextualized and long-lasting solutions on the African continent are implemented. 

Right now, the initiative is engaging activists, artists, athletes, medical professionals, musicians, and other respected voices from our global community to raise greater awareness of the impact of poverty and marginalization in Africa so together we can escalate the appropriate response. Small grants are under review for disbursement in different regions of the continent. 


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