Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

For Researchers and Scholars

29 July – 2 August 2024

About the Academic Conference

Evidence suggests that philanthropy is moving away from a relationship-driven to a value-driven system. Given the magnitude of social and environmental needs, a new way of thinking must be devised for the sector to truly realise its potential and impact.

Technology and innovations in African philanthropy

This theme includes topics such as the role of philanthropy in improving access to healthcare, blood donation as a form of giving, supporting research and development, and addressing health inequities.aTechnology and innovation in philanthropy, especially when considering digital technologies, signify a transformative shift in the African philanthropic landscape. The digital revolution in Africa transcends the mere adoption of new technologies; it encapsulates a fundamental change in the way philanthropic organisations engage with beneficiaries, donors, and the wider ecosystem. It is now clear to many stakeholders that technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data go beyond being trendy terms as they are increasingly becoming essential tools capable of boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of philanthropic endeavours in the continent and beyond.

Three-sector partnerships (PPP)

Another critical component under consideration is the focus on three-sector partnerships, which bring together government, private sector, and civil society, including local voices and agencies. The three-sector partnership approach, involving philanthropy, the public sector, and the private sector, is particularly relevant when considering the evolving landscape of African philanthropy, as highlighted by the themes of the upcoming overall thematic focus of the conference. The theme focuses on “The New Frontiers for (and in) African Philanthropy and Social Investment”, emphasizing the dynamic nature of philanthropy on the continent.

Climate change, adaptation, mitigation, climate justice and green resourcing

Climate change has been a subject of protracted discourse in various circles, and African philanthropy, taking a cue from the recent COP28 in Dubai, forms an integral part of this theme. The focus on environmental resilience and sustainability extends beyond addressing immediate effects to fostering a long-term vision for environmental and economic stability on the continent. Insights from COP28 are instrumental, in setting the agenda for the conference to explore strategies that resonate with Africa’s unique context. This conference is poised not as an echo of global dialogues but as a forum for advancing a distinct, Africa-centric vision of environmental resilience and sustainability.

Impact investment and de-risking social investment

While this theme is closely connected to the foregoing thematic focus, there is a need to isolate it as a stand-alone theme and afford reasonable time and programmatic focus during the conference. The role of philanthropy in de-risking investments in key sectors like healthcare, education, and infrastructure continues to gain traction and research attention.

Gender equality, youth and diaspora in philanthropy

The role of gender equality and women empowerment in effective philanthropy in Africa is increasingly gaining the attention of stakeholders in the ecosystem. Research shows that empowering women and girls has a multiplier effect on community development and economic growth.

Environmental stewardship, advocacy and economic empowerment of philanthropy in Africa

As has been highlighted in the foregoing, environmental stewardship and climate action are emerging as critical themes in African philanthropy. Initiatives focusing on environmental sustainability and resilience are vital for addressing the impacts of climate change and ensuring long-term sustainability on the continent. Philanthropic efforts in this area range from supporting conservation projects to investing in renewable energy solutions, all aimed at preserving the environment while promoting sustainable development.

Feminist philanthropies / Women in African philanthropy

The ongoing discussions underscore the significance of gender equality, youth engagement, and diaspora participation in African philanthropy. Gender equality and women empowerment require sustained emphasis in deliberations. The emphasis on empowering women stems from the widely recognised benefits that communities, especially in Africa, gain from the development and economic progress facilitated by women.

Philanthropy and reparations

Reparations are actions aimed at compensating individuals or communities who have experienced historical injustices, human rights abuses, or systematic oppression. Philanthropic organisations, dedicated to advancing human welfare, should focus on facilitating reparations in Africa. This approach involves leveraging a human rights framework to ensure justice for affected populations. It encompasses a range of measures, including those of a legal nature, to align with the principles of international law and address the consequences of past wrongs.

Philanthropy and global shifts

In the modern era, a plethora of challenges arise daily, necessitating prompt responses. These challenges encompass health and human welfare, economic stability, and environmental sustainability. Governments, tasked primarily with safeguarding citizens and ensuring peace, service delivery, and health standards, cannot single-handedly address these issues without external support. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the critical role of philanthropy in tackling social challenges when government capacities are exceeded.

Philanthropy and just peacebuilding

The role of philanthropic organisations in peacebuilding is not well studied, largely due to the secretive and private nature of their activities. Effective peacebuilding involves understanding the historical underpinnings, being aware of power dynamics within societies, and recognising the triggers and contexts of conflicts. It necessitates a thorough analysis of the situation, the adoption of comprehensive strategies, and the use of conflict resolution methods.


The 2nd African Philanthropy Academic Conference will be charged with the responsibility of potentially devising the future for philanthropy in Africa, with the sub-themes used to guide and reflect on the inflection points depicted.


Researchers and practitioners have prepared abstracts for presentation at the conference


The 2-day conference will offer delegates with up-to-date insights and rich dialogue.