‘We will fight for our independence. We will do things our way,’ declared one participant on the closing afternoon of the 1st Pan African Assembly of the African Grantmakers Network (AGN). His sentiment was echoed by many over the course of the three-day gathering in Nairobi. For too long, many argued, Africans have been too dependent on US and European donors and their methodologies. The time has come for African philanthropy to step up, strengthen and expand its capacities, and forge a new path for giving – ‘setting the African agenda for philanthropy’, as the conference’s subtitle put it.
The ability to do just that was made evident by the roster of over 230 participants, with representatives from nearly 50 grantmaking organizations from 13 countries from around Africa, with the largest contingents coming from South Africa and Kenya.