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The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) brought together many international leaders, activists and philanthropists for their September 2022 meeting, hosted by President Bill Clinton, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. Our CEOs Katie and Atti were among the group of over 1,000 participants in attendance.
It was a welcomed reunion between the two as they hadn’t seen each other since late June at the Aspen Ideas Festival, where they joined as Festival Fellows. Our African visionary partners from Kajo Keji, Wezesha Impact, Fundi Bots, AkiraChix, Rays of Hope, SaCoDé and Msichana Initiative were also present, which made the reunion even more special as they were all able to catch up, connect and exchange ideas.
Over the 2-day span, CGI 2022, themed “The Business of How,” convened to address present global challenges such as climate change, health equity, the refugee crisis and more. As CGI members, the African Visionary Fund was tasked with making “a specific commitment to take action and declare that commitment in writing,” as Bill Clinton shared during the 2005 CGI meeting. The commitments were announced as part of their Commitments to Action™ and as of 2022, the CGI community has made over 3,700 commitments.
The challenge was met as Atti and Katie worked diligently to develop a commitment that addressed a specific challenge, provide goals and include measures of progress and success. We are proud to have this stamp of approval from Clinton Global Initiative and we look forward to highlighting the importance of our commitment today and beyond.
African Visionary Fund commits to investing in African visionaries to accelerate health equity.
African visionaries have consistently demonstrated their capability to create transformative solutions by responding to their communities’ emergent health needs during the pandemic, yet they continue to do so despite the scarcity of frontline funding awarded to African-led organizations. African-led and -founded health organizations are uniquely suited to catalyze systems change in the continent’s health sector as they are the closest to specific cultural contexts surrounding healthcare in Africa. They are inherently invested, accountable and more able to deliver relevant and holistic innovations.
A shining example of this is our visionary partner, Kajo Keji Health Training Institute (KKHTI), and their laser-focused approach to addressing health challenges in South Sudan. CEO Lou Louis revealed that “the whole of Africa has the highest burden of disease,” during a session at CGI, where he discussed the forward vision of health equity on the continent. He also poignantly stated that the most important tool is “the human resource.”
The major health challenge that Lou Louis and KKHTI are working to combat is the lack of access to health care. Millions of South Sudanese people suffer from preventable illnesses and untreated non-communicable diseases. This contributes to the country’s high under-five infant mortality rate (135 per 1,000) and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (2,054 per 100,000 live births). Through KKHTI’s 3-year medical education program, students from across the country have the opportunity to help fix this dire situation as more doors are opened for them to begin careers in the medical field. KKHTI also offers preventative care services to local communities, conducts outreach programs and offers consultancy training for health workers.
While organizations like Kajo Keji have the knowledge and experience to solve their communities’ most pressing health challenges, they only receive a paltry fraction of overall grants and strategic support.
Without catalytic funding, grassroots organizations cannot weather long-term challenges, pivot quickly to respond to new situations, refine their processes and build capacity to pursue impact at scale. Long-term, unrestricted funding and organizational development support are crucial for African-led health organizations to not only respond to a global crisis, but also to expand their reach, increase their organizational resiliency, realize their core strategic goals and accelerate promising solutions.
We believe that if we shift resources and agency to African-led organizations, we are shifting power over resource allocation closer to the communities they serve. Our Commitment to Action is to find, fund and accelerate 2 African-founded and -led health organizations annually for the next 3 years as part of our grantmaking cycles (2022, 2023, 2024), supporting 6 innovative health organizations with $1M in flexible multiyear funding by the end of 2024.
The AVFund grantmaking committee is now in the process of identifying our next cohort of partners as part of our 2022 cycle. Our integrated grantmaking approach increases the flow of unrestricted, multiyear capital and organizational development support for African visionaries. The power of multiyear, unrestricted funding enables African visionaries to focus on efficiently delivering their objectives, unlocking larger funding over time and increasing their sustainability to drive development in their countries and communities. By collaborating with funders and social innovators, AVFund will foster a relationship that is defined by equity between funders and African-led health organizations.
With Our Support, What’s the Outcome?
African health organizations will be able to:
- Use community-led approaches to lead to system-shifting impacts in rural and traditionally conservative communities, including expansion in women’s access to reproductive health services;
- Deliver locally relevant mental health care
- Train medical clinical officers, laboratory technicians, midwives and nursing professionals to serve and save lives from preventable illnesses, impacting millions each year
- Provide reproductive health products and services alongside economic empowerment programs that help women and youth enjoy healthy and financially independent lives;
- Gain access to individually tailored and contextually relevant support co-designed relative to their stage of development or specific strategies; and
- Access opportunities for networking and learning, with the ultimate goal of increasing their visibility and normalizing the cultivation of long-term, meaningful partnerships.
Since our founding in 2020, AVFund has partnered with 3 organizations within the health sector:
How You Can Help Accelerate Our Commitment
We’re committing $1,000,000 USD in flexible multiyear funding over the next 3 years to help more African-led organizations propel their impactful solutions. Additional resources and support in amplifying our work and platform will bolster our capacities as an organization to engage funders at every level and income in making informed decisions about how to invest in and partner with local organizations across a wide range of sectors that are making a difference in their countries and communities.
Wagner Foundation has also committed to this challenge by providing funding support for the first year of our commitment. Like us, they believe that health is a basic human right. Their stance on health equity is seen through their advocacy and investments in organizations like AVFund that prioritize global public health.
We are grateful for the trust and partnership of Wagner Foundation and we are proud to be in alignment with their mission. We welcome more opportunities for trust-based and equity-centered partners to help us fulfill this commitment. Reach out to our team for information on how you can partner with African Visionary Fund. If you are interested in sending a donation, learn how you can give.
Committed to Our Mission
As we prepare to invite more organizations to join our portfolio, the approval of our commitment reinforces our mission to address systemic and structural inequity on the continent. By driving more funding and resources to African visionaries, we are leveraging their ability to revive their communities in the areas of health, education, livelihoods, technology and more.
Meet our partners! Explore our portfolio to discover our outstanding African visionaries.
Help us get more funding to African visionaries and unlock transformational change.
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We are building a network of doers and donors ready to challenge inequitable power structures and help make our vision a reality.