Africa Gender Initiative launches, aims to raise $50m to close continent’s gender gap

 

Alliance magazine

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The African Philanthropy Forum has launched a platform for African philanthropists to come together, mobilise funding, and work collaboratively to close the gender gap.

The Africa Gender Initiative will support the work of the Co-Impact Gender Fund, which was launched in March to build leadership opportunities for women in key areas such as law and economics, as well as address gender-based inequalities in healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. The Co-Impact Gender Fund works in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and AGI will specifically support their work in Africa.

The AGI seeks to raise $50 million in ten years and is being led by philanthropist Tsitsi Masiyiwa. The initiative’s initial list of funding partners includes South African entrepreneurs Beryl and Neverl Kambasha and their BeeNev Kambasha Foundation, Zimbabwean entrepreneurs Mayda and Trevor Mapondera of Catalyst Foundation and SHE Project, South African impact investor Yellowwoods Foundation, Byron Fundira of Chiltern Support and Housing, as well as Zimbabwean entrepreneurs Tsi and Peter Pembere of Express Links International Money Transfer.

Even before the pandemic, McKinsey Global Institute determined that progress towards gender equality was stalling in Africa. A recent World Economic Forum report now calculates that due to the Covid-19 pandemic gender parity on the continent is still at least 98 years away.

While a lot of global philanthropic funding goes to Africa, only a fraction of this money reaches African NGOs, programmes, or initiatives, with even less going to women-led organizations. Instead, over 80 per cent of gender-focused funding goes to multinational non-governmental organizations and governments, according to a report by Bridgespan.

This severe lack of funding in conjunction with the exacerbation of gender injustice due to the Covid-19 pandemic provides the backdrop and impetus for the Africa Gender Initiative.

To advance a collaborative and long-term approach to giving the Africa Gender Initiative is set up as a community borne out of the cooperation between the Africa Philanthropy Forum, Delta Philanthropies and Co-Impact. Future funding partners will become part of a network of philanthropists, local advocates, and experts to address deep-seated inequalities more efficiently.

‘Increased collaboration between African philanthropists, local advocates and experts will create an environment bigger than its individual parts, ultimately improving the lives of millions’, said Mary Wandia, Co-Impact Director of Programs in Africa.

The AGI was launched during the 2022 African Philanthropy Forum conference, taking place this week 24-25 October. The conference theme is focused on closing the gender gap.


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