After many years of consultations, planning and preparations, the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) was finally launched in Accra, Ghana in July 2009. Formed by major African grantmakers, the network is a platform for collective action, with potential to reverse some of the imbalances of the past. At the same time, it is hoped that AGN can propel Africa’s development through an effective use of philanthropic resources.
Guided by a steering committee of seven organizations and located at TrustAfrica, AGN will serve as a force to amplify African voices and advance African perspectives in development and global platforms. It will also cultivate productive relations with other civil society formations in Africa.
The AGN faces a number of tasks not only to maintain its early momentum but to remain relevant. The first of these is the collection of information about grantmaking in Africa, the drawing of a general map of what exists and the architecture of philanthropy in the continent. The second relates to managing collaborations and partnerships. The wide acceptance of the launch has given AGN a flying start, which should enable it to grow quickly, but it will have to be innovative and think outside the box in connecting the various initiatives across the continent in ways that contribute to an effective development approach.