The African Philanthropy Forum (APF) has expressed readiness to proffer solutions to issues hindering speedy growth of the continent at its fifth Annual Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In its resolve to drive an inclusive and sustainable development of the African continent, it recently assembled no fewer than 200 philanthropists, social investors, heads of foundations and industry experts from 22 African countries.
The two-day event commenced with a pre-conference reception at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory where delegates were taken on cultural site visits to the Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela House and Hector Pieterson Museum to get immersed in South African culture and history.
Executive Director of APF, Mosun Layode, said in a statement made available to The Guardian that the conference was opened with a tribute to Mandela by Napo Masheane, who mesmerised delegates with beautifully crafted words that showcased the Mandela essence and the South African spirit.
APF Board Chairperson, Tsitsi Masiyiwa in her welcome address, challenged delegates to dig deeper, think bigger and move beyond speaking about prevalent issues and solutions to actually nurturing and implementing initiatives that would transform the continent.
“Africa’s potential is within our power to birth, but it will take cooperation on a massive scale among all stakeholders,” she said.
During the Opening Remarks, Dr. Judy Dlamini, a philanthropist and Executive Chairman, Mbekani Group, pointed out that none of the issues in Africa were insurmountable and that each of the challenges could be resolved by individuals and available resources on the continent.
Over 60 speakers discussed topics on the theme: Potential And Reality: Bridging The Gap, covering major issues such as the population explosion in Africa, healthcare, gender equality, climate change, leadership, education and the role of next generation philanthropists.
Speakers and delegates highlighted the loopholes that educated and active citizens could fill to propel the continent forward and discussed how Africans could harness the imminent population explosion to the continent’s advantage.
This, they noted, could be achieved by educating and providing the right infrastructure to support the population, and stressed the role of next generation of philanthropists in sustainable development of the continent.
They also dwelled on the generation’s responsibility to invest in education in ensuring that Africa has an educated, independent, involved and active population in actualising its potential.