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Making philanthropy work for Africa in 2024

Last year, the African continent endured many catastrophic natural events, from the impact of Cyclone Freddy across Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar to the devastating floods in Libya, the earthquake in Morocco, prolonged droughts, and then an El Nino in the Horn of Africa.

But it was not just the challenge of natural disasters that Africa faced in 2023 there were also armed conflicts, economic shocks, political unrest, and migration crises. As we begin 2024, many of these issues still remain and in facing them there is a key role for philanthropy to be more impactful for Africans in 2024.

While donors are increasing their support, it is evident that a more collaborative and technologically driven approach is necessary to address the pressing humanitarian issues on the continent.

To gain insights into the current state of philanthropy in the region, we turn to the latest Global Philanthropy Environment Index (GPEI). Despite increased giving, substantial challenges persist in expanding philanthropic flows in sub-Saharan Africa.

The GPEI assesses the global philanthropic environment through input from country-based experts and highlights the existing incentives and barriers that impact both individual and organizational philanthropic efforts.

As we navigate Africa’s philanthropy landscape in 2024, it is imperative to address challenges head-on. By emphasizing collaboration, embracing technological advancements, and understanding the dynamics revealed by the GPEI, we can work towards making philanthropy a more effective force for positive change in Africa.

First and foremost, fostering genuine collaboration with a compassionate and strategic mindset is essential. Philanthropy, at its core, is about making a positive impact and improving the lives of others.

Non-profit organizations must endeavor to create coordinated networks of volunteers, researchers, and the community they serve to succeed. Collaboration must be in both formal and informal settings, as this will be critical to helping societies deal better with crises.

This deep connection, especially in a continent that draws on its sense of community brings about sustainable change and enables not-for-profit organizations to develop long-term strategies and implement workable solutions.

New ways of interacting with technology

As conversations about Artificial Intelligence evolve, there is a need to speed up the pace of progress to deal with the humanitarian crises the continent faces through the use of new technologies. Africa does not have the privilege to sit in a comfort zone of inaction. This means that working with all the tools available will be crucial if we want to see progress. This, however, calls for an alignment and ethical use of systems that can help non-profit companies help the communities they serve.

One thing is certain: AI is here to stay, and non-profit organizations have to find a way to reduce the continent’s worst inequities through the technology.

Trust is fragile, and to build and sustain trust requires a foundation of transparency, privacy by design, strong data protection protocols and involvement of users in  design, training and education.

Understanding the Global Philanthropy Environment Index (GPEI)

The observed trends in the GPEI survey are still relevant for progress in the current year. Apart from collaboration, there is a need to create public awareness about giving and the importance of philanthropy, make room for sustainability in the space, and embrace informal philanthropy and generosity, which can be found in all cultures.

Philanthropy is and will remain present everywhere. In times of crisis, as well as in our everyday lives, philanthropy has played a significant role in addressing systemic problems and offering innovative solutions to local and global challenges.

For it to work for Africans, the system will need to be backed by effective collaborations, leveraging new technologies, and the digitalization of giving.


Image credit – Image by wirestock on Freepik