As we seek varied avenues to define our agenda for promoting an African voice and agenda for philanthropy, to grow a transformed, relevant, vibrant and sustainable African community of philanthropy and social investment, we have deliberately embraced the value of utilising a platform that brings together African Knowledge in philanthropy, to endeavour to address the persistent development challenges in Africa.
The Inaugural AGN assembly was held in Nairobi in November 2010, where more than 200 participants representing African grant making organizations and partners from other parts of the world converged to set an agenda for African philanthropy. This project was as successful as AGN wished to mark a Pan African Grantmakers gathering. It depicted the true African ways of offerings to community, different ways of social investment, and a shared commitment to action to address African Philanthropy. The 2010 AGN Assembly brought to discussions and realisations onthe importance of the sense of community in Africa, and marked the characterisation of Africa Philanthropic landscape, with the realms of Horizontal and Vertical philanthropy, coining the informal and indigenous nature of giving in the former, and the formal institutionalised form of philanthropy in the latter. A full report of the 2010 AGN assembly is available.
The second bi- annual assembly of the AGN was held in October and November 2012, in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the theme ‘Growing African Philanthropy: What’s New, What’s Now, What’s Next’? It attracted well over 300 participants from more than 25 countries. The assembly demonstrated similar success as the 2010 AGN Assembly, equally identifying the long and deeply rooted traditions of solidarity and giving in Africa. The 2012 Assembly was shaped by the appreciation of the need to grow and respond to the development challenges of the African continent, by utilizing the assembly as an inquest platform and space for debating the texture and forms of African Philanthropy.
It offered the possibility of a re-energized African community of philanthropic and social investment practice, and enabled an inclusive, innovative, and interactive engagement of all grantmakers and social investors together, scanning the diverse terrain of philanthropy in Africa to identify new trends, showcase emerging practices and exciting innovations as well as craft a shared agenda to build the field in a changing context. Click here for the 2012 AGN Assembly.
Social investment avenues and inherent capacity for asset building in the community in Africa were some of the issues debated, as seen in social capital and demonstration of social cohesion (with examples of, among others, Ubuntu, Harambee, Humanism, Community Societies, Village Banks, Burial Societies, Rotating Savings and Credit Associations).