TrustAfrica’s first decade edited by Halima Mahomed and Elizabeth Coleman – reviewed by John Harvey

The concept of agency is a driving force behind a great deal of emergent global philanthropy, perhaps no more so than in Africa. In the context of its particularly traumatic history of colonialism, ‘agency’ refers to Africans’ capacity to create, foster and implement African solutions to African problems.

Agency is certainly core to the mission of TrustAfrica, a Dakar-based foundation that, along with a handful of peer Africa-based foundations, represents the vanguard of modern institutional philanthropy on the continent. Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s first decade explores how this relatively new philanthropic organization has fared over the past ten years.

Along with a comprehensive exploration of TrustAfrica’s commitment to bolstering African agency, the book seeks to explore TrustAfrica’s ability to ‘do things differently’: if and in what ways is TrustAfrica forging new standards, norms and practices that differ from, and are more effective than, those of traditional global northern foundation peers?

To craft the book, editors Halima Mahomed and Elizabeth Coleman commissioned five independent experts to study and reflect on specific TrustAfrica programmatic initiatives. Two additional chapters provide context on African philanthropy and insider reflections on a fascinating first ten years.

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