Blog (Simulizi)

Interview with Francis Kiwanga, Executive Director for Foundation for Civil Society and African Philanthropy Network, Board Chairperson.

 “I believe in local empowerment, for there to be a true development, people cannot continue to be passive in the process but they have to participate to build a long-lasting development”,  Francis Kiwanga.

May you please tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you are doing at Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania? I am the Executive Director of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in Tanzania, the largest funding mechanism in the country. We are a grant making as well as a capacity development support facility for civil society organisations (CSOs) in Tanzania.  As for my background, I am a lawyer professionally. I have worked in the human rights field before I went into doing my consultancy work for some time. I have been with the FCS for 5 years now, joined back in 2015.

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Interview with Barbara Nost: Executive Director for the Zambian Governance Foundation (ZGF)

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your organisation?

I was brought into Zambia in January 2009 to set up the Zambia Governance Fund as it was called then, which was designed as a multi donor pool fund set up in support of local organizations to become more influential in the national development debate. ZGF’s unique journey began when a group of bilateral donors, namely, Department for International Development (DFID), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Irish Aid came together in 2008 to discuss a more coordinated manner of channeling money to civil society organizations. At that time, the practice of independently supporting CSOs in different ways created a duplication of work and kept transaction costs high. Donors committed money to a pool fund and the DANIDA volunteered to facilitate an international tender for the management of the newly created Zambia Governance Fund. The newly set up fund faced some initial challenges, the most pressing being the lack of a legal identity that enabled it to operate independently. Through a process of deliberation, it was determined that the fund would become a company limited by guarantee of five Zambians who volunteered to establish the Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society.

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African Philanthropy: A Family Affair

I grew up the Southern part of Africa, Zambia. Like many other Africans, I was raised in an extended family. In our three-bedroom home, my grandmother, a schoolteacher, housed uncles, aunties, and cousins from remote villages. When we were too many to occupy the bedrooms, the living room floor was transformed into bed spaces. No one complained because each person was educated, then sent into the city, the rotation continued until as many people, or at least as many as grandmother could afford, graduated. Some became medical doctors, other’s bankers, one a minister.

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Islamic Women Influencing the Philanthropy Narrative

Every practicing Muslim is governed by the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’; Shahada (الشهادة‎‎) – the declaration of faith, Salat (صلاة‎) – prayer, Zakat (زكاة‎‎) – obligatory charity, Sawm (صوم) – fasting during the month of Ramadan (رمضان) and Hajj (حج) – pilgrimage to holy sites in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

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The growth of local philanthropy in Zambia

Philanthropy is growing and gaining attention in Zambia as an important catalyst for social change as evidenced by its essential role in supporting local communities’ development. In general, there is optimism looking at the future of philanthropy in Zambia and a genuine desire to continue to develop best philanthropy practices by local organizations such as the Zambian Governance Foundation (ZGF).

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Lessons learnt from the Unsung (S)Heroes Webinar

National responses for the COVID-19 pandemic have not focused on those on the margins of society; among which are girls and women. Given this fact, creating space to express the gendered impacts of the pandemic felt necessary. Moreover, sharing some of the strategies that have been adopted by grant-making organizations that center to mitigate these impacts are imperative.

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In Conversation with Mayowa Adegbile from the Ashake Foundation.

The Ashake Foundation was founded in 2013 with the aim to offer support to a forgotten population group in Nigeria: widows. They have since made an impact in a myriad of ways to about 2200 people in 14 different communities in Abuja. We sat down with the founder, Mayowa Adegbile for an insight into the day-to-day running of the Foundation, what she envisions for the future as well as the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had.

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Foundation for Civil Society and Tanzania’s CSOs at the Forefront of the Country’s COVID-19 Response.

The novel Coronavirus pandemic presents a major new challenge for governments and civil societies around the world. The strain on economies, healthcare systems and even social order resulting from this pandemic has been devastating. To respond to this, Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has been at the forefront of ensuring civil society organizations in Tanzania are playing their much needed role of, not only raising awareness, but also providing the necessary material support needed to keep marginalized and vulnerable populations safe from the pandemic.

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