A smallholder farmer convening on 24-25 November in Johannesburg, South Africa brought together advocates and other stakeholders engaged in policy reform in seven African countries. Entitled "Strengthening Smallholder Agriculture in Africa: Prospects for Mobilization and Advocacy", the convening was part of a multiyear partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting the emergence of a strong community of advocates who will hold governments to account for better policies on smallholder agriculture.See photos.
A September 2014 conference sponsored by our grantee, Africa Legal Aid in Johannesburg examined Africa's relationship with the International Criminal Court, with a focus on lessons learned and future priorities. Speakers included Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Florence Mumba, who served on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC. A full report is available on AFLA's website.
A June regional gathering at the Southern African Litigation Center addressed ways to end impunity for crimes of atrocity by strengthening domestic mechanisms for international crime. Read more about our work in international criminal justice.
It is with great pleasure that I address you as TrustAfrica's new executive director, having received the baton, so to speak, from Akwasi Aidoo at the start of October. I begin with a tremendous sense of optimism, based on the great energy and passion with which our partners are advancing good governance and equitable development on our continent. I look forward to working with you to realize our vision over the coming weeks, months and years.
There is much news to share with you, but we start with a gathering we hosted to honor the truly remarkable Akwasi on his departure.
Akwasi Aidoo, founding executive director of TrustAfrica
NGO and academic leaders from across the continent joined us on 30 September to discuss African philanthropy, a field to which Akwasi Aidoo has made an immense contribution. We addressed such issues as what it would mean to have more African resources in play and what would it take for African philanthropy to be more rooted in communities. In a closing talk, Akwasi shared a vision in which the field takes up a "transformative agenda" that addresses systemic injustice. He strongly endorsed support for people and organizations involved in arts and culture, quoting Nigerian author Chris Abani in calling them our "curators of humanity." Watch excerpts of Akwasi's talk.
Tendai Murisa and Yao Graham discuss how philanthropy can address systemic issues.
Briggs Bomba and Coumba Toure assess 15 years of African philanthropy.
Curbing Illicit Financial Flows out of Africa
In August, members of civil society from Southern Africa came together in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to map out ways to stop illicit financial flows out of Africa. Recognizing that IFFs are a major obstacle to inclusive development, we are working with allies across the continent and in partnership with the Ford Foundation to advocate for effective policies. We have supported similar convenings in Nairobi, Abuja, and Johannesburg. In order to help fill knowledge gaps, we have teamed up with the Southern Africa Research and Documentation Centre to launch the IFF database which features more than 200 documents and 50 experts. Coming up:TrustAfrica and partners will launch a global Stop the Bleeding campaign to build mass momentum to curb illicit financial flows.
Understanding Africa's Wealthy Givers
UBS and TrustAfrica have just released a new report that draws on a survey of nearly 100 African philanthropists as well as interviews with a number of experts. Africa's Wealthy Give Back offers insight into donors' motivations and the source and scope of their giving. It also reveals the unique nature of African philanthropy, which has seen tremendous growth in the past 15 years. Recommendations include: sharing best practice through networks tailored to the African context; developing regulations to encourage increased giving; and moving toward more strategic philanthropy and impact measurement. These are solid recommendations that can strengthen the field, ensuring that it plays a key role in our continent's development. Read the report.
TrustAfrica Joins Coalition to Fight Ebola
TrustAfrica has joined Africa Responds, a coalition of African and diaspora organizations raising funds to fight Ebola at the grassroots level, where resources are urgently needed. The coalition also seeks to foster accurate information and nuanced dialogue which can be lost in an atmosphere of fear. Funds raised will provide more protective equipment and healthcare supplies, help raise awareness and support individuals who are infected and their families. #UnitedAgainstEbola #AfricaResponds
A Warm Welcome
We extend a warm welcome to our new board members, Assefa Bequele, economist, expert on child rights and executive director of the African Child Policy Forum in Ethiopia, and Karim Tazi, a leading private sector entrepreneur who heads the Richbond Group in Morocco. Read more about our board.
We are pleased to announce that Nadia Ahidjo has joined the programme team, Fatoumata Sall has joined as webmaster and Briggs Bomba now directs our programme on illicit financial flows. Read more about our staff.
At TrustAfrica, we believe that Africans must set the agenda for--and lead--our continent's transformation. As an independent foundation, we are made stronger and more able to deliver on our mission with your support. We warmly invite you to make a donation today. We thank you.
Contributions to TrustAfrica, a 501(c)(3) organization that has earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, are tax deductible in the United States to the full extent allowed by law. Please consider making a donation today to qualify for a tax deduction this calendar year.