The Africa Philanthropy Network - Africa Philanthropy Network Competition Movemeback African initiative cover image


Africa Philanthropy Network is the only continent-wide network of organizations and individuals in Africa and its diaspora who promotes the culture of philanthropic giving.   It is conceived as a space for African institutions to interrogate and intervene in the power dynamics that shape how resource mobilization, distribution and spending impact the possibilities of transformative change in Africa. APN’s mission is to reclaim the power and elevate the practices of African philanthropy. In achieving this mission, APN is working in collaboration with its membership & other philanthropy support organizations to promote the voice and actions of African philanthropy through the building of solidarity and coordinated response in African philanthropy landscape; rethinking and build the case for the potential for African (individual and community) philanthropy to drive social change.

African philanthropy includes all resources that can be tapped into, when addressing Africa’s challenges: human, natural, social, material and financial assets. APN equates African philanthropy with local agency –the capacity of individual and communities to act independently and make their own choices. African philanthropy actors include foundations and funds; family and community based; individual giving and collective solidarity mechanisms – in cash, in kind, or in time; and social investments. African philanthropy is generally characterized by all forms of vertical and horizontal dimensions of giving of private resources for the common good; it cannot be defined by a single culture or model of giving.

During the 2021 Essay Contest, as APN we focused on drawing inspiration from Africa’s youth on the power of African philanthropy in championing social change. The responses towards the contest gave us the assurance that young people are ready and best positioned to contribute to rewriting the African narrative of African philanthropy, giving and generosity.

Following the 2nd edition of the APN Women’s Writing Workshops, the 2022 Essay Contest seeks to amplify youth voices by giving them an opportunity to contribute creative ideas on the role of African Philanthropy in transforming community challenges through innovation and practice. The challenges of our communities are ever present with us, but to what extent can we harness the power of African Philanthropy in transforming community challenges through innovation and practice? Through this Essay Contest, we hope to generate youth-led solutions on this important area of focus. One of our key objectives this year as APN is to increase APN’s strength and capacity as a thought leader and go-to-platform for making the case for African philanthropy; and such an initiative perfectly fits into this objective. This initiative seeks to engage African youth aged 18-35 years.

Africa is a youthful continent with about 400 million youth ( APN wants to encourage Youth leaders to contribute to new narratives that reclaim the power of giving and elevate the role of individual and community philanthropic giving in social and systems change.


  • Coverage: The Contest will cover all sub-Saharan African countries
  • Target Group: Youth aged 18-35 years old
  • Entry Languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Kiswahili
  • Theme for Essay Contest: African Philanthropy transforming community challenges: Innovation and Practice


  • APN will provide monetary and recognition awards to the first ten (10) winning essays. In addition to that there will be more incentives such as certificate of a participation, profiling through social media channels, and opportunity to speak in peer learning events

About The Africa Philanthropy Network

The African Philanthropy Network (Formerly the African Grantmakers Network) is a continent-wide network of emerging and established African philanthropy organizations.  Our mission is to be a platform that promotes an African voice and agenda for philanthropy. 

We strive to adopt and scale up effective giving strategies for our members to enhance the standards of philanthropy on the Continent for increased impact.  We believe the origin and basis for finding the ‘voice’ of African philanthropy is an improved environment for local philanthropy across African states, and a strong influence on Pan African and country level policy improvements on giving. 

By knowing what others are doing, our work provides a basis for collaborating to map private and public giving in Africa; understanding how these resources are allocated; creating a unified knowledge platform that targets giving to high-impact development needs and promotes sustainable investments.