Over the past five years, TrustAfrica has provided critical support for Liberian civil society organizations engaged in pro-poor policy advocacy. Support has included organizing national policy convenings as well as providing technical assistance and flexible grant-making, with more than 50 grants for groups seeking to advance democracy, human rights and media development.
Now in its third phase, the initiative is focused on harnessing civil society’s collective voices to monitor the lucrative extractives industry in Liberia.
Over the last ten years of peace, the Liberian government has attracted an estimated US$19 billion in foreign direct investment mainly from natural resources extraction. While some progress has been made by the state, affected communities continue to decry the slow or negligible benefits they receive from the exploitation of their communal lands. This has led to continuing community discontent and communal violence around concession areas.
Activities of the initiative focus on providing partners with the resources to enable ordinary citizens to campaign for their rights and benefits while conducting advocacy with high-level government officials and institutions. The aim is to create a workable framework for channelling community feedback on concession conflicts and violations to the Liberian government.
Local partners include the Liberia Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative, Publish What You Pay Liberia and the Liberia Peace Building Office. In addition, we have vigorously engaged the Liberian government through the National Investment Commission, the National Bureau of Concessions and the Forestry Development Authority.
The Concessions Working Group (CWG), our diverse coalition of international and local actors working on the extractives sector, serves as a clearinghouse for ongoing discussions and advocacy on natural resource governance within Liberia. It has also launched several advocacy campaigns against human rights violations of ordinary citizens in concession areas and given community feedback to the Independent National Human Rights Commission of Liberia and is considered as a community of practice on natural resource governance in Liberia.
We have also aired civil society’s positions on current concessions agreements at high-level meetings with the Liberian legislature. As the country heads toward elections in 2017, we will pursue the development and adoption of a natural resource manifesto or agenda by political actors.
Local actors in Liberia now have access to more reliable and rigorous governance and concessions data with our geo-spatial map of Liberian concession agreements which was developed by Aiddata, one of our international partners.
TrustAfrica works to support civil society coalitions and networks to conduct advocacy around regional organizations such as the Pan-African Parliament and the African Court on Human and People's Rights, in an attempt to expand and secure basic freedoms in countries where democracy is under attack. In the past we have worked with regional organizations such as ECOWAS, SADC, IGAD, COMESA, ECCAS, EAC and AMU in an effort to improve the economic climate and ensure collective security. One outcome of this program is our ARO Wiki (click on News and Ideas below), an online database of more than 150 African Regional Organizations.
Issue areas: Philanthropy landscape interpretation, connector, leveraging donor resources, managing donor-advised funds
There is new interest in African philanthropy due to the phenomenal growth of foundations and increased recognition of African forms of giving. TrustAfrica has played a supportive role in this effort by helping to establish the African Philanthropy Network and through research on historical and cultural forms of giving across the continent as well as philanthropic trends.
We view the field – and the development of African philanthropic resources – as a key aspect of African agency. Our work includes support for philanthropic institutions; knowledge production and influencing practice; piloting innovations for giving; and encouraging philanthropy to take on issues of democratic governance and creating equity within societies.
We also provide a full set of advisory services to other donors – both individuals and institutions. This includes donor-advised funds formed by several institutions, such as the Nigeria Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Fund, and funds that consist of one main donor, such as the Kiisi Trust.
Some results of this work:
- We helped establish the African Philanthropy Network in order to develop a community of practice and strengthen the growing field.
- Our participation in global philanthropy platforms – including conference presentations, journal papers and magazine articles – has contributed to a better understanding of Africa’s vibrant philanthropy tradition as well as its potential.
- We have produced seminal publications on philanthropic trends such as Giving to Help and Helping to Give: The Context and Politics of African Philanthropy, and, in concert with UBS, Africa’s Wealthy Give Back, on giving by high-net-worth Africans.
- Our book, Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s first decade, examines the work we’ve done with our partners – in an effort to better understand the kind of philanthropy that is based in Africa and prioritises African agency.
Nigeria Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Fund
Kiisi Trust to Benefit the Ogoni People
Issue areas: pro-poor economic policy, poverty and inequality, resource rights, corporate accountability, domestic resource mobilization, social policy, gender justice
Through this cluster of work, we seek to:
- Expand economic opportunities for all, especially for marginalized groups such as women and youth
- Enhance the delivery of social services such as education and health for those treated unfairly in their provision – in both rural and urban areas
- Rectify inequity and injustices in the distribution of Africa’s productive resources by advancing accountable governance
Broadly, our goal is to foster demand-driven change in pursuit of socio-economic justice. Our work addresses policy gaps and challenges and seeks to influence continental frameworks as well as national policies.
Some results of this work:
- We established a multi-country coalition of civic actors who are ensuring that their governments follow through on commitments made at continental level to boost sustainable agriculture, including better policies for smallholder farmers.
- We contributed towards the adoption of the Africa Mining Vision as part of the African Union’s strategic programme with the aim of ensuring that the continent’s rich resources do more to improve its people’s lives.
- We helped coalesce a Pan-African advocacy movement to stop illicit financial flows out of Africa. The issue is now part of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and a number of countries are crafting policy interventions.
- In higher education, our work to convene national and sub-regional stakeholders culminated in a ground-breaking continental summit to revitalize the sector. Its action plan is now spurring policy action at the African Union and in several countries.
- In order to strengthen small and medium-scale enterprises and improve local participation in value chains, we supported the development of evidence-based policy research recommendations in a dozen countries.
Issue areas: Human rights, rule of law, citizenship, gender justice, transitional justice, political participation, public accountability
Politics in Africa remains unstable as arbitrary constitutional changes weaken democratic practice and new laws limit civil society activities in several countries. The need to promote citizen participation in the deliberation of public affairs – at local and national levels – is more pressing than ever. This culture of responsible citizenry must be met by improved performance by public officials and respect for human rights. We see an opportunity to encourage policymakers to draw on the considerable expertise of African researchers, advocates, and civil society to address these challenges.
Some results of this work:
- At the continental level, we helped set up the Centre for Citizens Participation at the African Union (CCP-AU) to observe and track the implementation of AU resolutions.
- In Liberia and Zimbabwe, we provided support to civil society groups at crucial political moments in each nation. We sought to ensure that citizens have the capacity to exercise their right to hold leaders to account for public policy choices, especially governance reforms.
- We have built the capacity of those working in the international criminal justice field, including in Francophone countries such as Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, and helped victims of atrocity crimes become involved in important dialogue processes for restitution.
- In order to instil confidence in Africa-led criminal justice processes, our support ensured that the recent trial of the former president of Chad in Dakar was properly observed and communicated across the continent and globally.
International Criminal Justice Fund
Liberia Civil Society Initiative
Fouad AbdelmoumniMr. Abdelmoumni is a civil society activist and a microfinance expert. He led Al Amana, a Morocco-based micro-credit association, since its inception in 1996 till 2010, and left it with a portfolio of 400,000 loans worth US$300 million. His past leadership positions have included membership of the Executive Committee of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the Advisors Group for the UN Year of Micro-credit 2005, Vice-Presidency of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights
Akwasi AidooDr. Aidoo has extensive experience in philanthropy in Africa. His previous positions include regional program officer for West and Central Africa at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), head of the Ford Foundation’s offices in Senegal and Nigeria from 1993 to 2001, and director of the Ford Foundation’s Special Initiative for Africa from 2001 to 2005. Dr. Aidoo sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Resource Alliance, Fund for Global Human
Tade AinaAs Program Director, Higher Education in Africa, Omotade “Tade” Akin Aina develops and implements the Corporation’s strategy to accelerate economic and social development in Africa by strengthening teaching, research, scholarship and leadership. Tade is an experienced foundation executive, whose decade-long tenure in the Ford Foundation’s Nairobi office, most recently as Regional Representative for East Africa, has been marked by innovation and visionary
Aïcha Bah DialloA renowned champion of girls’ and women’s learning, Ms. Bah Diallo hails from Guinea, where she served as Minister of Education from 1989 to 1996, implementing major reforms that strengthened access to primary education and doubled girls’ enrolment. She went on to become a senior education leader at UNESCO, where, from 1996 to 2005, she worked to reduce barriers to education for girls in the world’s least developed countries. Ms. Bah Diallo helped found both the Forum on Women
Dr. Natalia KanemDr. Natalia Kanem is an international advocate for women’s and children's health and education, with long experience in philanthropy. Her work re-examines the relationship of culture and tradition to the transformation of public health conditions for under-served people around the globe. She is a senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute (West Indies). Dr Kanem was founding President of ELMA Philanthropies, a major services organization promoting health and education for African children.
Janet Naumi MawiyooJanet Naumi Mawiyoo is chief executive officer of the Kenya Community Development Foundation, the only public national foundation in Kenya, which works to promote sustainable development through social investments and grant making that empowers disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. She previously worked at the Kenyan Ministry of Culture and Social Services, the Ministry of Technical Training and Applied Technology, the Norwegian Agency for Development and ActionAid International
Sibongile MkhabelaSibongile Mkhabela is chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, which works to improve the lives of poor children and youth and which has grown under her leadership to R500m/$50m. She is now on a two-year secondment to head the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, one of the Fund’s signature initiatives. With a degree in social work and several graduate diplomas, Bongi (as she is known to friends) has held senior positions at the United Nations
Malusi MpumlwanaBishop Mpumlwana heads the Northern Diocese of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, giving strategic direction to the mission of the diocese and overseeing the pastoral ministrations of its priests and lay leaders. His vision is “to contribute to the making of an all-inclusive African church experience whose spirituality empowers the weak—the poor, women, and the young—and engages the social and economic realities of our time for the common good.” This is in line with his other pursuits, which include
Dr. Natalia Kanem is an international advocate for women’s and children's health and education, with long experience in philanthropy. Her work re-examines the relationship of culture and tradition to the transformation of public health conditions for under-served people around the globe. She is a senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute (West Indies). Dr Kanem was founding President of ELMA Philanthropies, a major services organization promoting health and education for African children.
Dr. Salole is chief executive of the European Foundation Centre. He holds an M.A. in economics from the University of Manchester and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Manchester. His previous posts have included serving as representative of the Ford Foundation’s Southern Africa office, based in Johannesburg, and director of the Department of Programme Documentation and Communication of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, based in The Hague. Previously,
Bahru ZewdeProfessor Zewde is an eminent historian who now serves as emeritus professor of history at Addis Ababa University. He is a founding member of the Forum for Social Studies, whose board he chaired from 1998 to 2004, and is active in the leadership of several pan-African and subregional associations and research networks. Professor Zewde also authored the seminal text A History of Modern Ethiopia 1885–1991 and Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia: The Reformist Intellectuals of the Early Twentieth
During a staff retreat, TrustAfrica's staff engaged in reflection about our vision for Africa, our mission, our guiding values and our programs. After many rich discussions, we created a visual representation of these ideas. We're pleased to share it with you here.
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.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2022.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2021.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2020.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2019.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2018.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2017.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2016.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2015.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2014.
TrustAfrica’s audited financial statements ending March 2013.