Reflections on the first independent African Philanthropy Forum conference


African Philanthropy Forum


The African Philanthropy Forum (APF) hosted the 2017 Annual Conference in Lagos from October 30 – October 31, 2017. Fourth in the series of Annual Conferences, the 2017 edition was the first held by the organization as an independent entity, following its incubation by the Global Philanthropy Forum.

The event which was well attended by a diverse array of participants from renowned philanthropists, visionary thought leaders and heads of foundations to philanthropic advisors, discussed pertinent issues peculiar to philanthropy in Africa especially within the parameters of a changing global context.

The seasoned panelists and intellects sought to discuss the role of philanthropists in proffering solutions to mitigate said peculiarities and shape the continent’s future.

The welcome address given by Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Board Chair, where discussions followed surrounding the social challenges of our time, while for some they are beginning the journey as philanthropists, being more committed, especially financially, to bring about real and sustainable change in Africa.

The Keynote Speaker, HRH Queen Sylvia of Buganda and APF Board Member, went on to share the Pan-African concept of Ubuntu and the interconnectedness between all people. She stated ‘I strongly believe that there is a genuine desire to own and be in control of our own development as Africans and a yearning for assistance that strengthens capacities and nourishes home grown initiatives.’

The conference was comprised of 10 plenary sessions, a ‘fire side chat’ and 3 break-out sessions, all covering important facets around the theme of ‘African Philanthropy in a Changing Global Context’.

Speakers present at the two-day Conference included: Mo Abudu, Founder, Ebony Life TV, Erelu Bisi Adeleye- Fayemi, Co-Founder, African Women’s Development Fund, Kofi Appenteng, President, Africa America Institute, Julie Essiam, CEO Ecobank Foundation, Tonye Cole, Co-Founder, Sahara Group, LT. Gen T.Y Danjuma Rtd., Founder, T.Y Danjuma Foundation and Bill Campbell Chairman, END Fund.

Key takeaways from the plenaries and breakout sessions include, leveraging partnerships to increase philanthropic impact, instilling the culture of volunteerism and giving in corporations through incentives and how tax incentives can foster local giving and create a business-friendly environment.

The sessions also discussed strategies for cultivating and leveraging relationships in the media to better tell African philanthropic stories, utilizing traditional and social media, and the critical role that next generation philanthropists play in sustaining the vision of family foundations.

Participants were also engaged in practical sessions that elucidated how to monitor and evaluate philanthropic endeavors to ensure scalable impact, as well as maximizing the benefits that technology brings into the philanthropic space.

A key action point from the conference is the launch of an APF online giving platform, to raise funds that will provide relief to needy communities during emergencies such as natural disasters.

Beyond the sessions, delegates had the opportunity to connect, learn and share ideas during the networking sessions held all through the conference; thereby building relationships for collaborations aimed at the inclusive and sustainable development of the African continent.

At the end of the Conference, Mosun Layode, Executive Director, APF shared the vision of the organization for the upcoming year. She told delegates that we are working on taking our ‘matchmaking services’ a notch higher in 2018 in order to connect more philanthropists, social investors and social entrepreneurs for change on the African continent.

In closing, she announced that the next APF Annual Conference will hold in August 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Conference was sponsored by the Campbell Family Foundation, Dangote Foundation, Higherlife Foundation, MTN Nigeria and Oando Foundation.

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