Reflections from the third African Philanthropy Conference
What are some of the systems challenges that the philanthropic sector will potentially face in future, considering social and innovation impact? What are some of the models and approaches than can drive African Philanthropy? Where’s the money for Africa in climate financing? How can technology advance African Philanthropy? What is the role of Youths in driving African Philanthropy?
A diverse array of participants from renowned philanthropists, thought leaders and heads of foundations discussed these pertinent questions at the just ended third African Philanthropy Conference which was hosted by CAPSI at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg in partnership with TrustAfrica, Higherlife Foundation, Africa Philanthropy Forum (APF), African Philanthropy Network (APN), East Africa Philanthropy Network (EAPN) and Southern Africa Trust (the Trust) on the on the 3rd and 4th of August 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The discussions at the conference centred on how African philanthropy is navigating beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, by specifically focusing on climate change, youth and technology.
Here are the key highlights from the discussions particularly around Philanthropy and Climate Change, Philanthropy and the African Youth and Technology and Systems in Philanthropy’s Practice.
Philanthropy and Climate Change
In her keynote address on Philanthropy and Climate Change, Masego Madzwamuse of Oak Foundation shared perspectives on the role of philanthropists in proffering solutions to mitigate climate change. Masego said, “climate finance in its current structure does not consider historical redress. A total of $100 billion annual adaptation fund is required for Africa but is currently unmet which means Africa is being left behind”. She therefore called on the African philanthropy sector to focus on ensuring that justice is centered in the design of climate finance and there is a deliberate approach of supporting network of organizations addressing climate crisis on the continent. She also called on Africans to be at the centre of climate finance conversations while pointing to the fact that, “climate finance conversations affecting Africa are unfortunately happening elsewhere. This is the issue of the day and we as Africans need to make sure we are at the center of some of these conversations”. Other speakers agreed that the current and ensuing dynamics demanded an active role of philanthropy in tackling climate change.
Philanthropy and the African Youth
In the Philanthropy and African Youth session, issues around deepening the involvement of the youth in philanthropy took centre stage. In his keynote speech, Daniel Kabani of DNK Consultancy said it was important for youths to be recognised as assets instead of trouble-makers, “We can no longer wait for solutions to come to us but create the solutions with what we have,” stated Daniel. Echoing the same sentiments while moderating a session on Youth and Participation, Mwila Chriseddy Bwanga from the African Philanthropy Network (APN) emphasized the importance of institutionalizing youth voices in driving Africa’s future by moving away from the idea of “future leaders” to seeing youth as partners and key players. Other speakers stressed on the need for an enabling environment that allowed youths to participate not just as representatives but decision makers too. “We need to cut down red tapes bureaucracy in youth work” said a participant.
Technology and Systems in Philanthropy’s Practice
“Communities should be at the forefront of identifying civic problems and building effective solutions to address them. Technology is a key lever to help communities achieve this, thus promoting real participation and inclusion for all is key” stated Matt Robert-Davies of M-Changa as he shared his reflections during the Technology and Systems in Philanthropy’s Practices session. He further delved on how technology supported the growth in philanthropy by linking existing structures, advancing communication and strengthening the skills of those that are in the grassroots.
Adding on, Caroline Teti, Recipients Advocacy & GiveDirectly spoke about how philanthropy technology and data were being used to support equity through streamlined processes, easier information sharing, integrated systems, and common profiles and/or applications to reduce burdens on nonprofits. “Technology minimizes patronage in philanthropy and giving which brings about dignity and agency of choice in giving”. Additionally, participants agreed that technology was pointless if it was inaccessible and therefore, called on for inclusiveness in technology to reduce the existing digital divide.
The overall key takeaways from the all the plenaries and breakout sessions included, building authentically African narratives as a key driver for systemic change, leveraging partnerships to increase philanthropic impact, embracing new technologies to democratize philanthropy, investing in research in the field of philanthropy and climate change.
Let’s dismantle systems that perpetuate inequality – Dr Tenga
Our Executive Director, Dr Stigmata Tenga called on the Giving for Change partners to dismantle systems and structures that were perpetuating inequality in their communities by mobilising resources from their communities. Speaking at the Giving for Change learning and sharing meeting that was held in Ghana from the 10 -16 July 2022, she said, “Community philanthropy started long ago but there is still the need to reflect and deepen conversations in ensuring that we are finding the right road towards the destiny we are looking at.”
Other implementing partners shared experiences of how they were championing and advancing community philanthropy in the eight countries where the program is being implemented. The countries include Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Palestine and Uganda.
You can learn more about the #GivingforChange program here https://lnkd.in/dtVDGz4