Decolonizing aid in the social justice sector

Photos provided by Civsource Africa

Although the work of decolonization is difficult and mundane, the alternative is even scarier.

CivSource-Africa is an independent advisory organization that seeks to refine the practice and footprint of African philanthropy for authentic civic engagement. In order to achieve their mission they reflect on how philanthropy has been done in the past by facilitating conversations on decolonizing aid, reimagining donor-partner relations, and anti-racism, to find better ways of being and doing philanthropy.

We had the privilege of participating in one of these discussions on the decolonization of aid hosted at Protea Skyz Hotel Naguru, on Wednesday 22 February 2023. The event commenced with insightful opening remarks by Dr. Busingye Kabumba on decolonizing aid in the development and social justice sector. Following this, Twasiima P. Bigirwa facilitated a dialogue on reimagining donor-partner relations in women’s rights and women-led organizations. This was proceeded by the dissemination of findings from a series of conversations held with about 100 of Uganda’s development and social justice sector stakeholders.

A highlight of the event was a panel discussion featuring flexible funders such as Jacky Kemigisa, Akiteng Isabella, Eshban Kwesiga, and Francis Odokorach. Through their work, these individuals strive to shift power dynamics to the Global South and advocate for more equitable approaches to philanthropy.

The solutions proposed for promoting sustainable development practices include; localization of aid, collective bargaining, organizing outside the margins, documenting our own histories, making the movement accessible to everyone and recognizing and remunerating women’s labor.

We were motivated to participate in the event due to our shared vision of promoting a more inclusive and impactful landscape for African philanthropy and civic engagement. Through our participation in events like these, we aim to contribute to the collective efforts of CivSource-Africa and other like-minded organizations in reshaping philanthropy to be more ethical, inclusive, and impactful.

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John Mark Bwanika

John Mark Bwanika is a medical doctor and Global E-health specialist. He is a founding partner of Rocket Health Africa, a digital health and Telemedicine Company in Africa, where he serves as the Chief Operations & Research Officer. He has previously worked as a research medical doctor and coordinator of clinical research at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Limited, Kampala.

Linda Mutesi

Linda is a feminist lawyer, curator, and social entrepreneur. She believes in the sharing of wealth and investment into our communities and explores this work with The Future Generations (FG) Foundation.