Trust Africa and IssueLab, a service of the US‐based Foundation Center have launched an online database, which consolidates literature on African giving. It currently comprises of almost 800 documents and includes resources in English, French, Arabic and Portuguese, covering multiple countries and ranging from formal philanthropic literature to writings on local systems of solidarity.
The database comes at a critical time when social justice philanthropy practitioners on the continent have been pushing to take into account African giving systems in all their myriad forms, both formal and informal. Recent conversation in the field have asserted the need to look beyond the dominant northern based concepts in order to develop the agenda for African philanthropy.
This need was expressed at the October 2012 convening of social justice philanthropy practitioners and advocates organized by TrustAfrica, the Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace and the African Grantmakers Network, in collaboration with the Global Fund for Community Foundations and the Arab Foundations Forum. The emphasis at this convening and subsequent conversation among participants of the Africa Social Justice Philanthropy Group has been on seeding the understanding of philanthropy locally, as practiced in everyday life as well as in formal structures.
The African Giving Knowledge Base will play an important role in furthering this agenda as for the first time it brings together scattered material about African giving in one place and shines the light for further research and analysis on this subject.
Halima Mahomed, Philanthropy Program Advisor at TrustAfrica said,
“We see this knowledge base as a platform that will help us to not only better understand, explore and reflect the nature of giving in Africa but also as a critical tool to help shift the discourse on what should be recognized under the rubric of philanthropy”
To access the database and contribute resources, visit http://trustafrica.org/en/philanthropy-database