Global events such as the war in Ukraine, slowing economies, the persistence of COVID-19, and rising nationalism continue to challenge the world order. Consequently, sectors like philanthropy have been forced to undergo a transformation challenging the established order of the ecosystem. These shifts, coupled with the myriad of issues African philanthropy is currently grappling with such as localisation, developing a south-south approach, and inward-looking (harnessing the local capacity) for resource mobilisation need a dedicated platform for deliberation. The events occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed African philanthropy responding in unprecedented ways. Technology and innovative ways of giving became ubiquitous almost overnight. However, clear disparities were also observed as some philanthropic institutions flourished while others were totally decimated and may not resurface.

Other urgent issues the sector is facing head-on include climate change, climate advocacy, climate change adaption vs climate change mitigation, governance, technology, and many other new fronts. These issues have the potential to refocus and pivot how philanthropy is practiced, lived, and experienced especially in Africa. They are simply the inflection point for the sector if the future is to be assured.

At this inflection moment, evidence is suggesting that philanthropy is gradually moving away from a relationship-driven to a value-driven system – there is a realisation for sustainability. This is changing the logic of the philanthropic field and has the potential to create an increasingly efficient social capital over time. Given the magnitude of social and environmental needs, a new way of thinking must be devised for the sector to truly realise its potential and impact. Although there has hardly been a broad consensus on efficiency and effectiveness, systematic shifts and systems thinking are likely to enable philanthropies to achieve greater impact at this inflection point.

The 2nd African Philanthropy Academic Conference will be charged with the responsibility of unraveling some of these questions and potentially devising the future for philanthropy, especially in Africa. This question and the subthemes will be used to guide and reflect on the inflection point depicted here.

  • What if philanthropy tried to take on bigger issues, influencing large systems (systems change) and cultural narratives like capitalism, democracy, and systemic racism, rather than more narrowly focused on challenges?


  • Philanthropy and medicine
  • Philanthropy and climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Philanthropy and blockchain technology
  • Emerging trends in giving and philanthropy
  • Social media and philanthropy in Africa
  • SDGs, philanthropy, and Social Investment
  • For-profit philanthropy
  • Role of philanthropy in disaster management
  • Philanthropy and Systems Change
  • Women, youth, and philanthropy
  • Decolonising philanthropy
  • Religion and philanthropy
  • Public policy and philanthropy

Important dates

Abstract Submission – Friday, 21 July 2023

Notification of Acceptance – Tuesday, 25 July 2023

Submission information

  • Applicants should submit an abstract of 250 words in a Word document format
  • We welcome abstracts in English and other African languages
  • Submitted Abstracts must contain the following
    • Full title
    • Names of all the authors
    • affiliations of each author
    • abstract of the paper
    • 3 – 6 keywords of the paper
    • Acknowledgements or disclosure notices (if any)
  • A maximum of two submissions will be considered per author
  • Only the abstracts will be published in the conference proceedings

Conference Coordinator

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma