TrustAfrica — interview with Akwasi Aidoo and Tendai Murisa

The following is an excerpt from an article originally published on the Alliance magazine website. The original article can be found here. For more information about subscribing to Alliance, visit www.alliancemagazine.org/subscribe.

Akwasi_AidooThe unburied dead, small change and the questionability of old men’s wisdom: on the eve of stepping down as executive director of TrustAfrica, an organization he founded some eight years ago, these are among the preoccupations of Akwasi Aidoo.

Caroline Hartnell talked to him and to his successor, Tendai Murisa, about how each sees the change and what lies ahead for African foundations. What has been accomplished over the last decade and what comes next?

TrustAfrica set out to do five main things, says Akwasi Aidoo. ‘Of course this is a milestone; it’s a journey, a long-distance journey, but we are on track.’

‘The first thing,’ says Aidoo, ‘is having a programme that really resonates on the ground, that can have impact; people can feel and touch it and say yeah, ok, you’re making a contribution.’

Aidoo sees one of TrustAfrica’s principal achievements as grappling with the ‘tough issues’. He cites ‘our work on illicit financial flows, our work on crimes of atrocity, impunity, our work in post-conflict Liberia, which is one of the most difficult places you can imagine working in, and in Zimbabwe, which is a terribly failed state.

He notes that ‘these are areas that people often shy away from’; that countries like Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sierra Leone and the DRC ‘are big gaps in the donor landscape’.

These are ‘issues that only an African foundation can deal with’, says Aidoo. While work in these areas has only begun, TrustAfrica is playing a key catalysing role. Continue reading here.

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