The African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) was established in 1994, with a mission “to expand and enhance the contributions Africans in the diaspora make to African development”.
Our innovative approach mobilises the financial, intellectual, and political assets of the African diaspora and channels them to drive economic growth and social development in Africa. We also enhance the capacity of actual and potential investors and actively influence international policies to ensure that they address the real needs and root causes of underdevelopment and poverty on the continent.
Our mission is achieved through programmes and projects undertaken solely or in collaboration with partners in Africa, the U.K, E.U and other parts of the world.
These projects and programmes fall within the following overlapping themes:
Enterprise and Employment: At AFFORD, we believe that development is driven by sustainable employment which in turn is a by-product of business development and growth. Even though the diaspora has and continues to contribute to job creation and accounts for huge investments on the continent, we believe that by providing the right framework and support these efforts can be amplified. To this end, we offer business support to fledging entrepreneurs looking to enhance their productivity and grow their business.
We have done this by providing grants and setting up business resource centres in the UK and Sierra Leone; designed to give assistance and impart knowledge to entrepreneurs from seasoned business advisors.
Diaspora Remittances and Investments: Two main projects RemitAid™ and RemitPlus™ have been developed ‘to transform diaspora and migrant remittances into a sustainable form of international development finance’.
Diaspora Engagement and Capacity: We run a series of advocacy, capacity building and engagement events like our annual African Diaspora and Development Day (AD3) which has consistently proven invaluable in garnering support for our work.
Action-Research, Policy and Practice: We work with African governments to develop policies, structures and systems that facilitate optimum contribution of their Diasporas.
ABOUT THE DIASPORA EXPERIENCE
AFFORD has identified the importance of working alongside and partnering with dynamic and innovative diaspora visionaries to further its mission to contribute to Africa’s development.
Our Diaspora Experience programme occupies a unique niche that offers “The journey and experience of a lifetime” whilst mobilising African diaspora and those interested to support development in Africa through volunteering and exploring Africa through enterprise.
The Diaspora Experience Programme focuses on the following key areas:
- Capacity building
- Partnership building
- Supporting the development of new approaches to support diaspora projects
- Developing a sustainable and impactful Diaspora experience programme
- Challenging attitudes, encourage sharing of skills, knowledge and experience.
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
Did you know, the diaspora already do ‘give’ significantly to Africa?
According to the World Bank, they remitted $60 billion in 2012 to Africa to support relatives and also to invest. They also supported development projects, through sharing skills and knowledge, and political lobbying. From 2003 onwards, AFFORD developed and worked on projects focused on mobilising young Africans aged 18-35, to support development in Africa. The engagement revealed that many young Africans were as committed and passionate about giving to the continent but lacked structures, systems, methods and pathways for giving.
AFFORD has sought to understand and overcome the challenges facing this demographic and one way is by creating structures that enable them to harness the resources available to them. One that transforms the potential of young diaspora giving and philanthropy for development in Africa.
Previous projects Africa Gives and SEEDA, undertaken by AFFORD revealed that many young Africans sought opportunities to give back to Africa but no strategic structure exists that meets this desire. The Diaspora Experience (DE) by AFFORD is a development and an extension of these previous projects that enables volunteering, business opportunities, knowledge sharing and cultural experiences for the diaspora community. It provides a platform, network and support for the young generation of diaspora Africans; offering guidance on how to capitalise on the growing opportunities in a fast changing continent.
AFFORD are aware of three strategic ways the diaspora are presently supporting Africa – these are:
- SKILLS – around undertaking internships / building business partnerships / new contacts
- TIME – around volunteering / building new connections – impacting communities on the ground
- INVEST – around money / innovation / remittances programs enhancing the capacity of grassroots entrepreneurs
Our Diaspora Experience program occupies a unique niche and ultimately offers “The journey and experience of a lifetime” whilst facilitating support for finance and crowdfunding to be raised via the platform.