African philanthropists call for shifting practices in their operations

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African Philanthropists
African Philanthropists

With the growing call for community involvement in philanthropic activities, Africa Forward brought together stakeholders in philanthropy to discuss how to shift power to communities, with the aim of encouraging more community involvement in African Development.

This month’s Africa Forward virtual session was driven by a philanthropy panel that included Andy Bryant, Executive Director of the Segal Family Foundation; Ese Emerhi, Global Network Weaver at Global Fund Community Foundation and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Moderated by Dr. Fred Ochieng, the African Director of The Ripple Effect, the speakers gave deep insights and shared their views on the best way to practice philanthropy in local communities of the future.

Andy Bryant spoke about the fact that philanthropy is transitioning from why communities should be funded to how communities can be supported with funds in a useful and impactful way to the recipients. Stressing the need for full involvement of both donors and beneficiaries in solving global challenges, he called out to philanthropists to, not only come up with legitimate and efficient feedback mechanisms, but also apply trust and support to guarantee open and engaging conversations between beneficiary communities and funders.

Ese Emerhi spoke of the fact that solidarity, self-care, sufficiency, and resilience are integral to the definition of African philanthropy and the need for system change in philanthropy. According to her, “African Philanthropy has the opportunity to provide agency to Africans, creating trust in institutions that really allow for accountability and transparency to themselves, other partners and the community at large and not necessarily to a donor”.

She explained that previously, investments have been driven from voices of people outside the community and not those close to the problems that are to be solved. However, it has been proven that these communities have assets which range from trust, knowledge, people, capacity that enable them to solve challenges for themselves and rely on relationships built over time. This dynamic sort of localism in solving problems ensures more efficient and creative solutions.

Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu spoke extensively on the involvement of African youth in conversations around philanthropy and the development of their community. The emphasis on philanthropy, according to her, is on high impact, scalable and sustainable outcomes, by promoting entrepreneurship and changing the African narrative through the empowerment of the youth. Entrepreneurship is the future of philanthropy through SMEs, social entrepreneurs should be empowered to solve all problems in Africa. “As philanthropists, the most important work that we are doing should be that which will impact the youth of Africa”, said Ugochukwu.

Africa Forward is an initiative of Catalyst 2030 with the sole purpose of rewriting the narrative about Africa. Its strategic shifts are comprised of 5 critical pillars: (1) Narrative Shift, (2) Ecosystem Development, (3) Funding, (4) Job Creation and Career Counseling and (5) Training and Capacity Development. The Africa Forward monthly series is intended to inspire and charge social entrepreneurs on the best ways to change the narrative about Africa.

About Catalyst 2030

Catalyst 2030 is a global movement of social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors who share the common goal of creating innovative, people-centric approaches to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Joining forces with communities, governments, businesses and others, Catalyst 2030 members are changing systems at all levels through collective action and bold, new strategies.

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