The 2012 edition of the East Africa Grantmakers Conference that took place from the 25-27 July in Entebbe Uganda turned out to be the most successful one since the inaugural Nairobi conference in 2010. For the first time, the conference included a Master Class Leadership training and the philanthropy awards gala dinner in its programme of events. Top leadership of Foundations and Trusts were treated to provocative information and experience exchange sessions and taken through several leadership strategies to ensure that they steer their organizations in ‘blue oceans’ rather than the murky ‘red oceans’.
Another first was the participation of delegates from South Sudan, South Africa and others from far flung regions of the region such as Pokot in Kenya, Kigoma in Tanzania and Arua in Uganda. It is simply exciting to see the extent to which we are going to ensure that we reach out to givers from all corners of our region. In general, a total of 120 delegates attended the 2012 conference compared to the 112 that attended the previous one. Out of this, we are delighted to see an increase in the number of returning delegates.
One clear message that came out of the 2012 conference that will clearly shape our focus as we head into the future was the call for philanthropists and grantmakers at large to actively mainstream governance and leadership programmes in their giving. Chief Speaker at the Conference Eng. J.B. Walusimbi who is the Prime Minister of the Buganda Kingdom challenged delegates to take up the responsibility of institutional building to ensure that good governance and transformative leadership prevailed in organization the funded.
Crowing the conference was the awarding of the prestigious philanthropy awards to six individuals and organizations in East Africa. Apart from being an additional social event to the annual conference, the philanthropy awards have without doubt opened a new chapter for EAAG. By seeking to recognize and awarding givers in the region, this new addition complements very well our strategic objective of growing our local giving.
Looking forward, we hope to seize the greater opportunities provided for by this years conference. Among them is initiating a programme that will seek to entrench leadership programmes in grantmaking. Under consideration is a programme on youth philanthropy that seeks to capture the young people involved in philanthropy work, nurture young givers and network them with established givers in the region.
Finally note that next year’s conference moves to Mombasa Kenya from the 24-26 July under the theme Business and Philanthropy. And remember that we are meeting in Johannesburg South Africa for the Africa Grantmakers Network Biannual conference from the 30th October to 1st November 2012. Mark your diaries. I look forward to seeing you again.