Speech by H.E Ambassador Gertude Mongella, at the official opening of the African Grant-makers Network (AGN) assembly in Arusha, Tanzania

Held at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), 1st July 2015.

Dear distinguished leaders in philanthropy,
Leaders of the African Grant Makers Network (AGN),
The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS)   
The African’s Women Development Fund (AWDF) in Ghana,
Invited guests,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

•    First and foremost, may I take this opportunity to thank Organizers and all of you, distinguished participants, for everything that you do that will contribute to and sustain the growth of African economies through philanthropy.

•    Philanthropy is a concept and practice embedded in African cultures and traditions. It’s a great honour to appear before you all and officiate this third Assembly of the African Grant-makers’ Network (AGN). The programme of this assembly contains the action oriented sessions - that will provide significant roadmap for building the leadership to drive an agenda for philanthropy in Africa.

•    My special thanks go to the African Grant-makers Network (AGN) Secretariat; the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) and the African Women's Development Fund (AWDF) for convening such a thoughtful assembly. It will enable leaders in philanthropy, practitioners, academia, the media and other key actors to join the conversation and participate in action - oriented sessions. Discuss strategies which will contribute to sustainable, just and peaceful development in Africa through philanthropic engagement. This is a very good course!

•    The Concept of Philanthropy; Is it a new concept in Africa to be learnt and adopted?
-    Philanthropy is embedded in the culture and traditional practices in Africa.  The givers and the receivers  both have dignity and respect in society
-    Giving and sharing is very African. We give at every moment and stage of our lives, at birth, celebrations, weddings, funerals, rituals…
-    Generosity to neighbours, friends, relatives and (foreigners) is very visible and embedded in our daily lives.
-    Thus, the philosophy of UBUNTU is based on giving and believing; “You are because I am and I am because you are

•    Philanthropy worldwide is a Non Governmental engagement. At this juncture the work of this AGN secretariat cannot be underestimated since the Assembly will provide a platform to showcase the experiences, contributions, good practices at the same time and opportunity for knowledge building across the continent. Among others it will address
-    The African development needs
-    Peace and security
-    Political instability
-    Economic growth
-    Strengthen leadership
-    Empowerment of Special groups –Women, youth, children as agents of change
-    Re-examining and domesticating the regional and international agreements with the African Philanthropic touch by drawing upon regional normative frameworks and agendas (AU and UN).
-    Consideration of mobilization and utilization of resources
-    Dissemination of information on the challenges faced in Africa
-    Development of strategies to overcome the challenges

•    The Role of people, Community groups, private sector, wealth individuals and institutions in African Philanthropy to create an enabling environment to give to activities that empower the disadvantaged. A need for special focus to women, youth, children, the elders and people with disabilities.

•    Finally, I wish you fruitful discussions and a successfully assembly.

•    With these few remarks, may I declare that this third AGN assembly is now officially opened!

•    Thank you for listening and I wish you all the best.

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