Funders targeting support to benefit communities in Africa represent a diverse set of grantmakers targeting a broad array of priorities, according to a new report from Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group (AGAG). In fact, more than half of the survey respondents provide support for two or more issue areas, specified populations, and/or countries or regions.
The Africa Funding Landscape: A Profile of Funders Focused on Africa and Perspectives on the Field moves beyond grant dollars to capture the what, how, and why of current funding targeting Africa. The report is based on a survey of private and public funders headquartered in North America, Africa, and other regions.
Among the key findings:
- Human rights and economic development are the top focus areas, followed closely by health and education.
- Children and youth and women and girls are a focus of well over half of funders
- East Africa was the top regional focus, but the top three countries of focus were South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
- Few funders headquartered outside of Africa report facing significant obstacles in supporting organizations in Africa.
- Funders are reasonably optimistic about the interest of other grantmakers in supporting similar priorities, suggesting potential for growth in funding targeting Africa.
Respondents also cited several challenges to achieving the desired impact of funding in their focus area. Chief among them was inadequate funding. Other challenges included their lack of knowledge about the local landscape and opportunities for engagement, as well as differing priorities of funders and their grantees and "closing space" restrictions on civil society and philanthropy.