Current funded programmes

AFFORD AND ICMPD’S diaspora-led crowdfunding programme

The European Union Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF), through the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), is providing technical support to AFFORD to address SMEs’ financing and skills gaps by developing the online fundraising capacity of African diaspora investors. The action is building capacity in crowdfunding for raising philanthropic and investment funds for AFFORD Business Centre (ABC) SMEs in West Africa.

This action will assess gaps and needs and, thereby, deliver tailored training to enhance the capacity of diaspora investors to leverage crowdfunding to raise philanthropic and investment funds for SMEs in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. It is delivered within the framework of the ABC West Africa programme focused on SME support and job creation in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal through working with the diaspora.

So far, the programme has:

  • Conducted research with African SMEs, diaspora investors and volunteers, crowdfunding platform owners, and policy influencers and administrators to understand the landscape, opportunities and challenges for utilizing diaspora-led crowdfunding in raising philanthropic and investment financing for African SMEs.
  • trained 33 ABC entrepreneurs in Benin and Ghana in leveraging crowdfunding for raising financing. 10 of these entrepreneurs will be supported and paired with diaspora investors/volunteers to implement crowdfunding campaigns to raise financing for their enterprises.
  • trained 58 trainers (ToTs) to continue to develop and strengthen capacity for African diaspora investors and SMEs in leveraging crowdfunding for raising financing.
  • trained 51 African diaspora investors in supporting African SMEs towards leveraging crowdfunding for raising financing
  • conducted research into the knowledge, skills, use, limitations and opportunities in leveraging online crowdfunding for raising financing for African SMEs.
  • been developing a comprehensive and adaptable curriculum which we have used in training ABC SMEs, diaspora investors and volunteers and future trainers. This curriculum contributes to evidence for supporting diaspora investors/volunteers and SMEs to leverage crowdfunding for SME financing.

In September, AFFORD will support trained diaspora investors to mentor select ABC SMEs in launching crowdfunding campaigns to raise philanthropic and investment financing.

For more information about this work contact

ABC Benin 2020

Olushola Umar, a food technician at Ades Foundation preparing to feed trays of melon seeds into the heat machine. Nigeria 2020

ABC Benin unlocks the investment potential of the diaspora for businesses, strengthens entrepreneurship and creates sustainable jobs. 

The new initiative harnesses and maximises diaspora knowledge, financial and physical contributions to stimulate wealth, generate employment and promote social development across the country.

ABC Benin mobilises and supports diaspora investors and volunteers across Europe through expert advisory support, training, grants and loans to create jobs in emerging and diverse sectors.

It increases the employability and business skills of Beninese young people and women by providing mentors, business advisory, business development sessions and investment to enable them to create sustainable income opportunities.

The AFFORD Business Centre (ABC) launched its ABC Benin project in February 2020 to enhance the investment potential of the diaspora in the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. 

During a ten-month pilot phase – with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – ABC Benin will promote the development of SMEs which have the potential to grow and have major labour absorption capacity.

For more details head here

Return of the Icons 2020

The AFFORD Institue’s Paul Asquith provides an overview of Return of the Icons

Through its Return of the Icons programme, the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) is working with museum professionals and experts in the UK and Africa, and members of the diaspora, to explore what these artefacts mean to these communities, especially young people.

Through research, community engagement and public campaigns, we are working to develop frameworks for the return of these African icons and build mutually productive partnerships between museums and other cultural institutions in the UK and Africa. The tourism and heritage sectors are of growing importance to economies in Africa, providing badly needed jobs for local people. And so the return of stolen artefacts – many of which languish in museum basements, unloved and undisplayed – can help drive economic recovery as well as building cultures of pride and resilience.  

For more information head here.

DFI phase 1 2 3 & 4

ADF 5 (previously ADF Ethiopia: Innovative and Sustainable change) funded by the Pharo Foundation

2015- 2017

The grant provided 80% match-fund of £25,000 each to six diaspora initiatives:


Addis Fine Art (AFA) is providing a local space and an international platform for the promotion and sale of visual arts from Ethiopia, with the aim of increasing the visibility, market access and securing livelihoods of visual artists in Ethiopia and its diaspora.

Cheekola Innovation is a start-up social enterprise which is piloting an accessible ‘uber-like’ transportation service for Ethiopia’s residents that utilises technological advancements in mobile app developments and connectivity.
For-Ethiopia will provide extracurricular training in tailoring to rural girls already benefiting from a secondary school scholarship scheme, helping them become employment ready on completion of secondary school with access to clients within the local market.

Scarves for Sustainability is providing weaving equipment and necessary training to women in small towns and rural areas to enable them to work conveniently from home and earn sustainable incomes. It also aims to build strong links with existing weaving communities in order to connect them to a wider export market.

Setota Care is creating a start-up home healthcare service employing at least 50 trained and qualified nurse practitioners within the first year of operation, with the aim of providing affordable home healthcare treatment for users and high quality training to staff.

SUNARMA UK is supporting Alshoni Women’s Cooperative to set up a flour mill to provide milling services to the local community, thereby reducing the burden of hand milling and improving the livelihoods of rural communities they work in.

ADF 3 (previously ADF 1 for small-scale community and Economic Development) funded by Noel Buxton Trust

2015 – 2016


The grant provided £2000 for small-scale community and economic development activities to five diaspora initiatives.

Bunyoro Kitara Development Association equips women in the Masindi district, Uganda with skills in tailoring and hairdressing through training. The project will provide beneficiaries with basic business management skills, sewing machines and hair dress toolkits to start generating their own income.

Diaspora Impact for Nigeria (DIFN) seeks to increase the potential of low income women in Ishefun, Nigeria to earn extra income by learning new vocational skills. The project will seek to generate an equipped social enterprise hub enabling women to collectively work together to create greater income earning potential.

Himilo Relief & Development Association (HIRDA UK) works with a small number of local woman in Somalia with established businesses, empowering them to increase their incomes by providing loans and business skills. The project will also sustain and build on a revolving fund through which HIRDA supports local women traders.

Riana Development Network is currently providing 24 households in Kenya with a breeding stock of goats as an income generating activity. This is in response to the food insecurity amongst women and youth headed households living in extreme poverty.

WHEAT Mentor Support Trust (WHEAT MST) will continue to expand on Tsebiqiley Adigrat Gardening Project which seeks to improve the quality of life of 97 orphaned children and other people affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as promote healthy eating in the community by creating a green environment.

ADF 2 (AFFORD Diaspora Finance) funded by Noel Buxton Trust

2014 – 2015

The grant provided £2250 for small-scale and community activities that contributed to economic development.


Development Impact for Nigeria (DIFN)

Funded Project: Ipaja Women’s Empowerment Hub – Provided skills and enterprise training to 23 women, and mutual support through establishing a social enterprise hub in Ipaja-Lagos, Nigeria.

Himilo Relief & Development Association (HIRDA-UK)

Funded Project: Empowering Women’s Entrepreneurship – Provided micro-loans to 8 market women in Somalia to enhance their businesses and improve livelihoods. With 100% returns, this first phase was used to establish a micro loans revolving fund.

Riana Development Network (Riana)

Funded Project: Improving food security for women and children through goat-keeping – Provided goats for vulnerable villagers (24 women and youth headed households), and provided training in managing the herd, with the aim of establishing a revolving goat fund.

WHEAT Mentor Support Trust (WHEAT)

Funded Project: Tsebi Qiley Adigrat Gardening Project – Established a vegetable garden for carers to build capacity and provide enhanced incomes and livelihood to orphans in Ethiopia.

ADF (AFFORD Diaspora Finance), pilot funded by Comic Relief, through CGI Phase 1

2013 – 2014

The grant provided £2000 each for activities that engaged policy makers to influence policy in Africa. Included in the grant was also capacity-building support and mentoring for all grant-holders.


Cameroon Forum & Partners (ADAAM, TOSHPA, Salem Health Project)
Funded Project: Enlisting the African diaspora in Malaria reduction – Engaged African health professionals to develop inter-agency partnership with community organisations to deliver outreach service, education and awareness on malaria prevention.

The Global Native

Funded Project: Financing African Development through diaspora investment – Explored alternative approaches to development finance through diaspora investment by bringing the subject of diaspora investment into public debate, encouraging the diaspora to invest in community shares for development, among other activities.

Wheat Mentor Support Trust & Partners (BTHWC; The A-Connexions Global Village)

Funded Project: Educate a Girl Educate a Society (EGES) – Encouraged civil society and policy makers both in Ethiopia and in the UK to emphasise the benefits of higher education for girls in Ethiopia, address the barriers preventing girls from pursuing secondary and tertiary education, and put systems in place to make it easier for girls to pursue higher education.

WAM Campaign & Partners (Family Outreach Ghana; Me Firi Ghana)

Funded Project: Future of Ghana Forum: Charity Begins At Home? WAM… – Created a platform for young diaspora to engage decision makers on the contribution of the diaspora to Africa’s development; held fora for the Ghanaian diaspora and others to engage the policy community and decision makers around the diaspora’s contribution to Africa’s development, with a focus on diaspora volunteering in Ghana.

ENTRAIDE (Mutual Aid) & Partners (Diaspora for African Development; Chipo Musara Foweraker; Agnes Ngulube Holmes; Agric International Ltd.)

Funded Project: Rising to the challenges of African Agriculture & Food security – Increased collaboration between African individuals and organisations, and the promotion of progressive and informed debate that engaged decision-makers, aimed at enhancing understanding and recognition amongst policy-makers of the role the African diaspora play in the development of Africa’s Agriculture and Food Security.

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