About The Conference

Fostering a shared understanding of African philanthropy and social investment

The African Philanthropy Conference is an annual forum where philanthropic institutions and stakeholders from across the continent convene to share insights, engage in collective introspection, and advance the principles of philanthropy and social investment within Africa.

This platform plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration, nurturing innovation, and driving progress for the enhancement of the continent’s diverse populations and communities.

The African Philanthropy Conference was conceptualised and created in 2017 in response to a request from Mrs. Tsitsi Masiyiwa who is the co-founder of the HigherLife Foundation and Delta Philanthropies. She approached Prof. Emmanuel Akyeampong, the then Director of the Centre for African Studies at Harvard University and Prof. Ellen Gurney, the Oppenheimer Faculty Director at Harvard University. Prof. Akyeampong turned to Prof Bhekinkosi Moyo, who was the then CEO of the Southern Africa Trust, and soon later the Director of Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment. Given that TrustAfrica had been at the forefront of promoting philanthropy on the continent, its Executive Director, Ebrima Sall, was invited to the conversation.

 It was in these early conversations that the objectives and implementation plan for the African Philanthropy Conference began.

 In 2018, CAPSI, the Harvard Centre for African Studies and Southern Africa Trust began curating the first annual conference. They collaborated with other leading voices in the sector, such as the APF, the Africa Philanthropy Network (APN), and the East Africa Philanthropy Network (EAPN). HigherLife Foundation soon joined the consortium, creating a pan-African space to collectively promote African philanthropy and set agendas for future interventions. This platform does not replace the individual efforts of each institution but rather offers a space for collective reflection, agenda-setting, and sharing of best practices with a wider community drawn from the consortium’s constituencies and beyond. The first conference was held in May 2019 under the theme ‘The State of African Philanthropy: Setting the Agenda’ in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 Now in its 5th edition, the 2024 African Philanthropy Conference is hosted by CAPSI and TrustAfrica in collaboration with APF, APN, EAPN and Southern Africa Trust in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe under the theme ‘The Next Frontiers in African Philanthropy.’ This convening will build on the outcomes partner convenings, such as EAPN’s annual conference and the Philea Forum while also contributing to upcoming discussions to be hosted later in the year, such as APF taking place in Morocco in the month of October and APN Assembly in Zimbabwe in November.

Tracing the Impact

Over the years, the African Philanthropy Conference has provided a platform for stakeholders of the sector to strengthen networks and support research that will accelerate the understanding of the practices that aid the maturity of the fields of African philanthropy and social investment.

As the journey into the future continues, the conference will be charged with the responsibility of unravelling the issues that lie within the annual themes and devise the way forward for philanthropy.

Click the year to read the conference report

2019 Report

The State of African Philanthropy: Setting the Agenda

2021 Report

The Role of African Philanthropy in Surviving COVID-19

2022 Report

Systems Change and The New Normal in African Philanthropy

2023 Report

African Philanthropy at an Inflection Point: People, Power, Policy and Practices

2024 Concept Note

Next Frontiers of African Philanthropy

Feedback From 2023 Panelist