#TA10 Blog Series

Looking back, Looking ahead: African Philanthropy for Socio-Economic and Political Justice in the 21st Century

The Difference a Decade Makes

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In celebration of its tenth anniversary, TrustAfrica has published Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s First Decade in partnership with Weaver Press. Edited by Halima Mahomed and Elizabeth Coleman, the book takes an in-depth look its work as an African-led foundation that set out to do things differently.

Founded in 2006, when solutions to Africa’s challenges were often developed outside its borders, TrustAfrica sought to practice a kind of philanthropy that both benefits Africans and actively supports their agency.

Now, at TrustAfrica’s ten-year mark, Claiming Agency asks, does this kind of philanthropy make a difference? If so, how? What are its unique ways of working?

The answers are found in five chapters by independent authors that reflect on how TrustAfrica and its partners advanced a range of issues – from women’s rights, smallholder agriculture, and democratic reform in Liberia and Zimbabwe to international criminal justice and illicit financial flows.

Three additional chapters analyze the changing landscape of African philanthropy, discuss the book’s findings, and examine their implications for future philanthropic work in Africa. As a whole, the book adds important evidence of the unique value of African-led philanthropy.

In a clear-eyed look at money and power, the authors observe that donor funds all too often come with strings that constrict African agency – and recommend ways in which donors from Africa and the global north can foster independent action and strengthen movements for change.


Chapter 1. African Agency at Work (by Halima Mahomed and Elizabeth Coleman)

Chapter 2. How to Make Societies Thrive: the role of African philanthropy in creating agency (by Bhekinkosi Moyo)

Chapter 3. African Agency in Contested Contexts: A reflection on TrustAfrica’s work in international criminal justice (by Humphrey Sipalla)

Chapter 4. A Grounded Approach to Philanthropy: Strengthening civil society in Liberia and Zimbabwe (by Alice Brown)

Chapter 5. Movement Building to Promote African Voices: TrustAfrica’s support to stop illicit financial flows from Africa (by Fambai Ngirande)

Chapter 6. Opening Up the Policy Process: TrustAfrica’s work to include the voices of smallholder farmers (by Chipo Mubaya)

Chapter 7. Resourcing Women’s Rights in Francophone Africa (by Hakima Abbas)

Chapter 8. Re-imagining Agency in Africa (by Tendai Murisa

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