Academy Study Launch – ‘Mobilising resources for Africa: What role for young Africans in the diaspora?


Executive Summary

Academic study

Africans in the diaspora gave over $60 billion to the continent in 2012 through remittances. Much of this money supported the education and health needs and day to day consumption of relatives, proving the generosity of ordinary Africans. Beyond this, there is also a growing wave of high profile philanthropists such as Mo Ibrahim and Tony Elumelu, bringing conventional philanthropy to the continent through their high profile foundations. Now, platforms such as Africa-Gives and the African Medical and Research Foundation’s diaspora engagement strategy seek to energise philanthropic giving amongst young Africans.
‘Mobilising resources for Africa: What role for young Africans in the diaspora?’, the groundbreaking academic study developed jointly by AFFORD, AMREF and Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (CGAP), CASS Business School, explores how young diaspora Africans give to Africa, whether they are repeating the patterns of giving of their parents who remit huge amounts to Africa, or whether they would benefit from a different targeted approach. This group are currently underrepresented in ‘official’ giving and philanthropic profiles and the findings of the study sheds unique light on understanding the challenges they face and how to engage with them to begin to generate significant resources for Africa’s development. The launch of ‘Mobilising resources for Africa: What role for young Africans in the diaspora?’ on 21st January 2014 at room G50 at SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, brings together those at the centre of the new African driven philanthropy, including representatives from AFFORD, the African Medical Research Foundation, development actors and private sector organisations.
The findings will be of interest to those wishing to encourage and support philanthropy among young diaspora Africans. ‘As Africa goes through a renaissance, there is a changing perception of the continent among young diaspora Africans. While there is recognition that issues of poverty and instability remains, younger generations of African in the diaspora recognise that Africa is an exciting place to be right now, with opportunities abound’ said Emma Orefuwa, co-ordinator of Africa-Gives.
She continued: ‘Many young Africans want to reconnect with their continent of origin and give back in many ways, however they lack structured pathways to do so. The findings of this research provides valuable insights into how to capitalise on this often untapped source of philanthropy.’
For further information please contact: Emma Orefuwa –

AFFORD, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA
Tel: 020 3326 3750
Notes for Editors: About Research Partners: Africa-Gives & AFFORD
Since its formation in 1994, the African Foundation for Development – AFFORD has gained recognition as a pioneering African development think tank & charity ( AFFORD’s groundbreaking research, advocacy and policy development activities have helped highlight diaspora issues; and led to international recognition of the role of diasporas in development. AFFORD has had direct input in the policy development of diverse bodies such as the UN, World Bank, DFID, International Organisation for Migration, UN Economic Commission for Africa, African Union, and the European Union. Most recently, AFFORD has piloted effective ways of harnessing African diaspora resources to create and sustain jobs in Africa.
Africa-Gives is a social enterprise owned by AFFORD and aims to provide pathways for young diaspora Africans (aged 18-35) to engage in the development of Africa through giving their time, money and skills (
Africa-Gives is generously funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a prominent philanthropic organisation and private foundation ( Its mission is to “promote the well – being of mankind throughout the world.” AMREF
The African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) is a health development charity that was founded in Kenya in 1957 by three medical doctors who used their surgical expertise and ability to pilot small aircraft to provide medical assistance to remote regions of East Africa ( The organisation has health development programmes operational in Ethiopia, Kenya, Southern Africa, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Senegal. In addition to the seven offices in the global south, AMREF has eleven offices in the global north, which concentrate on providing technical support and fundraising. AMREF is the largest health development organization based in Africa, with more than 2,000 of its 4000 strong staff living in the communities that AMREF serves.
The organisation is now working towards a harmonisation agenda, steering country offices in the global north and south towards one vision under the auspices of ‘one AMREF’. AMREF is one of the few large international NGO’s that focuses its work solely in Africa. In December 2011, AMREF UK launched ‘Africa’s health in African hands’ a campaign to encourage the diaspora to fund African healthcare needs. Targeting the African diaspora is new territory for AMREF and an action that the AMREF Director General feels very passionate about:
CGAP at Cass Business School CGAP is the UK’s first research Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy and it aims to develop knowledge and engage with donors, charities and practitioners ( CGAP at Cass Business School has a wealth of expertise in researching charitable behaviour and has conducted a number of studies that have informed the policy debate in this area. A recent analysis of remittances and charitable donations in the UK has helped to frame understanding of the role that remittances can play in tackling poverty and has provided a springboard for discussion as to how to maximise the impact of giving within different cultures (Pharoah & McKenzie, 2013). In order to gain a better understanding of the philanthropic profile of young Africans in the UK, the African Foundation for Development, African Medical and Research Foundation and Cass Business School aim to acquire a deeper understanding of the current and desired ways of giving among this target group, and to understand the challenges involved in mobilising this group.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s