At a meeting of the AGN Steering Committee held in Zanzibar last month, a board of trustees was formally elected, the first executive director, Dr Sulemana Abudulai, appointed, and a three-year Strategic Plan adopted. The meeting was attended by the founding members and other stakeholders, and saw a lot of discussion and debate on charting the path of growth for the organization as it looks forward to its second assembly, to be held in southern Africa in 2012.
The Strategic Plan reflects the mission of the AGN – namely, to be the platform for shaping an African agenda for philanthropy by enhancing coordination, knowledge management and leadership capacity of African philanthropic organizations. The key interventions proposed under the plan are fourfold:
- To provide support aimed at addressing weakening of the civic sphere and the relationship between state and non-state actors in the field of philanthropy and development.
- Engaging the ‘new rich’ and middle class in Africa to contribute towards philanthropic causes and influence policies.
- Enhancing social capital – here the AGN seeks to link various sectors and agencies to create social capital necessary for Africa’s road to inclusive growth and equity.
- Institutionalizing a broad development approach by building local capacity to address demand and supply side constraints whilst meeting the developmental needs of African citizens.
Executive director Sulemana Abudulai (pictured) has many years experience working in civil society. He was previously a member of the international grants team at Comic Relief. Abudulai has led in the establishment of country programmes for several British NGOs in Ghana, including Action Aid, Womankind Worldwide, Camfed International, and Action on Disability and Development, and is a research associate at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cambridge, and trustee of various African and UK NGOs.
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