Ford Foundation's Longstanding Commitment Improves Lives in Eastern Africa

Ford Foundation's Longstanding Commitment Improves Lives in Eastern Africa

Over the last four and a half decades, the Eastern Africa office of the Ford Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya, has partnered with local organizations to improve lives, strengthen communities, and address some of the most pressing issues in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Since 1962, the foundation has had a presence in the region, which is home to nearly a hundred million people, and its commitment to improving lives there has evolved in response to changes in the political, economic, and cultural landscape. The foundation's support played a key role in the development of the civil service and higher education sectors in Kenya and Tanzania, and Ford grantees continue to work to secure the safety and well-being of citizens, provide quality education, foster democratization and civic participation, strengthen institutions and the capacity of local philanthropies and nonprofits, advance creativity and freedom of expression, and build new partnerships for peace and social justice.

Over the past ten years, the foundation has awarded approximately $15 million a year to organizations in East Africa. Recent grants include $200,000 to the Nairobi-based African Conservation Centre to help build communities' technical and institutional capacities for the conservation and management of wildlife and natural resources in the Kenyan South Rift Valley; $250,000 to PROMETRA Uganda, and NGO that works to promote traditional medicine; and $3 million over six years to the Kenya Community Development Foundation in support of its efforts to strengthen local philanthropies that focus on asset building, poverty reduction, and social justice.

"In response to these realities, we are supporting work that extends beyond geographic boundaries and encourages a synergistic approach to finding solutions," said Tade Aina, the foundation's representative in East Africa. "Challenges persist, but promising daily interactions with our partners, and more importantly, the people of the region, keep us focused."