ISBN 9781779223012
Pages 156
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2016
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Claiming Agency

Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s First Decade

edited by Halima Mahomed, Elizabeth Coleman

Claiming Agency. Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s First Decade takes an in-depth look at an African-led foundation that set out to do things differently. Founded in 2006, when solutions to Africa’s challenges were often developed outside its borders, TrustAfrica sought to practice a kind of philanthropy that both benefits Africans and actively supports their agency. Now, at the ten-year mark, the book asks, what does this kind of philanthropy make a difference? If so, how? What are its unique ways of working?

The answers are found in chapters that reflect on how TrustAfrica and its partners advanced a range of issues - from women’s rights, small-holder agriculture, and democratic reform in Liberia and Zimbabwe to international criminal justice and illicit financial flows. In a clear-eyed look at money and power, the authors observe that donor funds all too often come with strings that constrict African agency - and recommend ways in which donors from Africa and the global north can foster independent action and strengthen movements for change.

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About the Editors

Halima Mahomed

Halima Mahomed is an independent consultant whose work focuses on research and advocacy to strengthen the narrative, knowledge, practice and impact of African philanthropy. Over the last 15 years she has been closely affiliated with, amongst others, the Ford Foundation, TrustAfrica and the Global Fund for Community Foundations. She is also a member of the Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace and of the Alliance Magazine Editorial Board. Halima has written extensively on African philanthropy. She holds a Masters in Development Studies, with a focus on social justice philanthropy. 

Elizabeth Coleman

Elizabeth Coleman is a writer and editor who specialises in philanthropy and social justice issues. She worked for 15 years for the Ford Foundation, first as a consultant then on staff as managing editor. As an independent consultant in Dakar and now Geneva, her clients have included TrustAfrica, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, several United Nations agencies, and organisations focusing on women's rights, human rights and people-centred development.