African Foundation for Development
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AFFORD’s initiatives have had major positive impacts on local African development on two broad fronts.
Firstly, the creation of a new diaspora-development framework have expanded and enhanced the range of development partnerships, many of which would have remained dormant or marginal. Secondly, for the past decade, AFFORD has applied its pioneering and innovative expertise to the subject matter of job creation in Africa, especially in post-conflict Sierra Leone.
Since 1994, and over the past decade especially, about 20 African governments have created diaspora ministries, departments or units. Many more have – to varying degrees – adopted and implemented specific diaspora-development policies ranging from the issuing of diaspora-bonds for local projects to partnership schemes with local governments. Most importantly, there is widespread acceptance of this development framework and civil society, community, corporate, governmental and other bodies are all finding their own ways of facilitating enhanced diaspora input to local development.
As the new millennium dawned, AFFORD realised that a momentum was gathering towards acceptance of the diaspora-development framework. Consequently, it adopted a new strategic goal of expanding and enhancing the role of the diaspora in job creation in Africa. This led to a range of pioneering initiatives that gives local populations options and opportunities to take charge of their own development.
Examples of these initiatives include:
- Business Development Support a scheme which enables micro and small enterprises to transform petty trading into structured entrepreneurship, securing their family livelihoods and creating jobs and enhanced local supply chains.
- Access to Banking a campaign working with banks to open up their doors and services to micro enterprises, through collaboration with diaspora volunteers and local trade associations.
- RemitSkills™ which enables hundreds of diaspora professionals annually to establish new productive developmental and support relationships with diverse African communities and localities.
- RemitAid™ which introduces practical macroeconomic frameworks such as tax relief on remittance; and use of remittances to improve sovereign credit rating of African countries. These measures optimise the productive impact of remittances and transform remittances into a sustainable form of international development finance.
- RemitPlus™ which introduces replicable and feasible models for linking remittances to local investments, health insurance, social enterprises, agricultural and SME ventures. Linkages bring together online and mobile based money transfer platforms as well as local Micro Finance Institutions.
- AFFORD Business Centre (ABC) this enables fast-growth socially responsible businesses to enhance local supply chains and create long term, career-orientated jobs.
- Business Bomba Competition (BBC) which encourages people to pursue private sector ventures as viable options for securing family livelihoods and contributing to local and national development. The scheme helps people become employers, not employees.