Philanthropy as an agent of social transformation

Photo Credit: African Philanthropy Network Website

The African Philanthropy Network is a continent-wide network of philanthropy support institutions and civil society member organisations in 48 African countries. Established in 2009, APN was conceived as a space for African institutions to interrogate and intervene in the power dynamics that shape how resource mobilization, distribution, and spending impact the possibilities of transformative change in Africa.

As part of its annual calendar, APN held a 3-day network assembly in Entebbe, Uganda that brought together over 300 individuals, organizations, and networks under the theme “African Philanthropy: Driving Change.” Hosted at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel-Entebbe and organized in collaboration with the East Africa Philanthropy Network (EAPN), Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF), and CivSource Africa, the event featured a keynote speech from social justice activist, Theo Sowa, panel discussions and Ignite talks all steered by Prof. Awino Okech, a lecturer at SOAS University of London.

In an effort to network and learn from other players in African philanthropy, FG Foundation participated in this internationally represented event meant for African delegates to actively engage with issues of agency facing African communities, something that strongly resonates with our mission. Throughout the series of assembly events, attendees engaged in discussions and workshops that exhibited best practices, success stories, and innovative approaches to philanthropy and social investment.

The room was filled with government and civil society representatives from all over the continent and the speakers led a rousing conversation on key issues in the grant-making space. They emphasized the importance of working towards systemic change by funding a civil society that will hold governments to account. They also addressed the need to challenge narratives about Africans and aid by intentionally channeling funds toward African visionaries and organizations creating meaningful alternatives. The conference inspired conversations on improving donor policy and highlighted the importance of intergenerational collaboration and co-creation platforms. Overall, the gathering facilitated constructive and meaningful conversations around grantmaking in Africa, serving as a platform to foster collective action and drive social transformation.

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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.