The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is an organization that seeks to give a helping hand to marginalized groups in Africa. The foundation grew out of the African Development Foundation Act of 1980, an initiative that identifies active community participation in Africa as key to developing a better social and economic system. The foundation provides grants of up to $250,000 to various groups that will benefit individuals who are in need, yet remain overlooked by other NGO’s and government organizations. The African Development Foundation provides grants in order to create higher income, improve social conditions, and increase jobs for marginalized groups.
The foundation is currently working in more than 20 countries in Africa. Community groups small and large have the opportunity to apply for a grant with the African Development Foundation. If the foundation finds that the group’s cause will promote more jobs, improve living conditions, and ultimately help to end poverty in Africa, then the foundation agrees to provide the grant. Thus far this year, the foundation has supplied $17 million to help engage marginalized communities in improving the socioeconomic conditions throughout Africa. The majority of USADF’s grants go towards expansion projects, small enterprises, farming associations and cooperatives.
One of the foundation’s program focuses includes a five-year $10 million grant program in the region of Lake Turkana in Kenya. The grant is going towards the development of a sound agricultural system in Kenya which will provide more jobs, and create better food sustainability. The Lake Turkana program will establish an agricultural system that the community can participate in and thrive on well into the future.
The foundation takes government transparency very seriously. As a government organization, USADF desires to operate in the sense of an open government, in which all of their grant plans and financial spending are open for all to see. USADF wants individuals to know where their tax dollars are going, and to be able to understand the issues happening in Africa in a simple way. The foundation also greatly encourages participation from African communities and collaboration with partners across government levels to help achieve their goals.
So far, the USADF has 336 active project grants and 100 small grants. The estimated number of people that the foundation has impacted is 1.5 million. With such high numbers the impact that the foundation is making is clear. USADF intends to increase their number of grants in the years to come and further contribute to ending poverty in Africa.
– Chante Owens
Sources: African Development Foundation, Advance Africa