Meeting in Lusaka heralds Zambian embrace of community philanthropy


Andrew Milner


The Zambian Governance Foundation (ZGF) will launch a new approach to its work at an event entitled ‘From Dependency to Ascendancy’ on 15 March in Lusaka, Zambia.

Originally set up as a pooled funding mechanism to support the work of civil society organisations in influencing policy processes for the benefit of the poor, ZGF has in effect reinvented itself over the past two years to emphasise the importance of community philanthropy in its work.

In addition to local non-profit organisations, the event will be attended by representatives from communities, regional foundations including the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF), Uluntu Foundation and Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe, Kagiso Trust from Malawi and Kabale Municipality Development Foundation from Uganda, government, the private sector and academia and Jenny Hodgson, executive director of the Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF).

Hodgson’s presence is especially significant given that ZGF’s change of approach was apparently triggered by its participation in the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy in Johannesburg in December 2016.

According to ZGF’s communications specialist, Tarisai Jangara, exposure to the emerging debate on community philanthropy in Africa resonated with the organisation because of its underlying principle that ‘community assets play an indispensable part if local development processes are to be successful.’

ZGF was subsequently given a grant by GFCF to carry out a study of local giving patterns among Lusaka’s middle class as a first concrete step towards adopting a community philanthropy approach. The results of this study will be announced at the March event.

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