A new foundation and think tank was announced Tuesday to search for African solutions to the continent’s development challenges. It’s called TrustAfrica and was launched with a $30 million commitment from the Ford Foundation. The foundation says, “Africans need and deserve to have a greater voice in the international donor community and in development efforts.”
Akwasi Aidoo is executive director of TrustAfrica. From Dakar, Senegal, he spoke told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua that the organization will make grants promoting peace and regional integration.
“We have three areas we work on. One is peace and conflict resolution. The other is trade and investment. And the third is democratic consolidation and the approaches to bring the three together to determine common ground for working together. And we make grants to make it happen,” he says.
Asked about African solutions for African problems, Aidoo says, “Basically, it is to listen, to bring African opinion leaders, African civil society leaders, creative people in Africa to look at what is working in Africa. And then to take those lessons and best practices within the continent to other places that might benefit from them. For example, we know that Mozambique has been relatively successful in going beyond the conflict and bringing the rebel movement into the democratic process. And that is a lesson and experience which Angola, for example, could benefit from. It does not mean that if something works outside Africa that can be learned from that is excluded.”
TrustAfrica says it will bring together scholars, activists, entrepreneurs, artists, policy makers, civic leaders and others not only at conferences but through collaboration over the Internet. This also includes many in the Diaspora.”