Africa Grantmakers Blog

promoting increased & more effective funding in Africa


2014 New Member Spotlight

We are delighted to welcome the following new members for 2014.

The Canon Collins Educational & Legal Assistance Trust based in the United Kingdom provides higher education opportunities and promotes human rights with a focus on the poor in Southern Africa.


Global Philanthropy Alliance (GPA) supports economic empowerment for African youth and youth-led initiatives to build sustainable communities.  View a video of their work in Kenya.

International Development Exchange (IDEX) based in the United States focuses on long-term support of grassroots organizations. View the video “IDEX in South Africa: Community Initiatives to End Poverty.” 

The Raith Foundation based in South Africa promotes a democratic and just society by supporting networking, advocacy, research, and capacity building activities.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation based in Canada supports community organizations fighting AIDS in Africa. View the video “Hope at the Grassroots” to learn more about their work.



2014 Conference - Using Diverse Strategies 

In March AGAG held its 2014 Conference in New York on “Funding in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Sessions topics ranged from the role of art in philanthropy to funding trends to exit strategies. Case study presentations and sessions organized by AGAG members helped funders to deepen their understanding of current strategies.

The annual conference attracts people who want to maximize the impact of the funding they provide to African communities at all levels. Robust and responsive philanthropy requires strong professional relationships and a good understanding of current trends.

The Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group offers a network of informed and experienced colleagues. The annual conference is a unique opportunity to meet a cross section of funders active in Africa.

Funders supporting the efforts to end regional conflict or irresponsible business practices are most effective when they respond to the each community’s unique and complex needs.

Several conference sessions discussed the impact of responsive philanthropy to support indigenous peoples, civil society and women.

Women Taking a Central Role in Peace 

The Women's Platform for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework: Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is also known as the Framework of Hope.

Muadi Mukenge of Global Fund for Women, Harriette Williams Bright of Femmes Africa Solidarte and Modibo I. Toure of the Office of UN Special Envoy to Great Lakes Region described this initiative as a partnership between the United Nations and women’s funds to support women in taking a central role in both official and unofficial peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes region.

The three-year Initiative will include an online, multilingual communications platform and conferences to bring women together to strengthen networks, share best practices and engage in community-level problem solving.

Learn more at A framework of Hope: Launch of Women's Platform for Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework by UN Women.

The Impact of Long Term Support

Yeschia Weerasekera of International Development Exchange (IDEX) described IDEX’s support of Biowatch South Africa throughout its nine-year battle with Monsanto over permits to grow genetically modified crops in South Africa without an environmental impact statement.

Although Biowatch South Africa won its case to gain access to government records, the batted continued to reverse the court’s ruling that they pay all court costs.

Ultimately it was successful in reversing the court’s ruling. IDEX used this case to highlight the importance of taking risks and not being afraidof long-term partnerships with organizations.

Download “A Landmark Victory for Justice: Biowatch’s Battle with the South African State and Monsanto.” 

Supporting Policy and Advocacy  

Why should investors and shareholders in the extractive industries care about Indigenous Peoples rights? How can funders help communities protect their rights?

Nick Pelosi of First Peoples World Wide’s (FPW) presented findings from their “Indigenous Rights Risk Report” that assessed the risk to 300 companies in extractive industries when they do not respect the rights of indigenous communities.

Focusing on the their support of organizations in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, Pelosi described a two prong strategy of grants to support the advocacy work of local organizations combined with sharing the research results with local companies to show that respecting the rights of indigenous communities is smart business. It can help companies to avoid work stoppages, protest, violence and negative press campaigns.

The research findings back advocacy efforts by indigenous communities for companies to comply with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Download the Indigenous Rights Risk Report.

Listen to the learning call "Indigenous Rights Risk Report: Leveraging the Market for Free, Prior, and Informed Consent in Africa" on this topic to learn more.

   Copyright 2014 Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group, a project of the Tides Center