The 1st edition of the “African Foundations Awards” (AFA), organized by the Africa Event agency, took place on Saturday 16 November 2019, at the CRRAE-UMOA conference room in Abidjan-Plateau.
Doudou Stevens Cissé, Executive Director of Africa Event, took the opportunity to explain the motivations of this event: “For a long time, foundations and associations have been confused because both are dedicated to the general non-profit interest. Today their characteristics are very different. While an association is the grouping of several people with the will to act together around a common objective, a foundation exists by the irrevocable allocation of assets for the realization of a work of general interest. A foundation is private money made available to a public cause. If both are necessarily non-profit-making, the association can defend the interests of an organized group: former students of a school, defenders of the environment, while the foundation is an association dedicated to the general interest. The State’s supervision is there as a guarantor of the public utility. The association disappears with the dispersion of its members while the foundation can survive. Governance is very different. An association is by nature democratic in nature, decisions are taken by the general assembly during which each member has one vote, while the foundation has a governance based on a board of directors that takes decisions”.
16 award-winning foundations plus 3 special prizes
This ceremony was also the occasion to award 16 foundations for their numerous efforts to improve the daily lives of the population. Among others, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, which was awarded the AFA Super Prize and the Peace Prize, the Magic System Foundation, which was awarded the Education Prize and the Amadou Hampâté Ba Foundation, which left with the African Cultural Heritage Prize. In addition to these awards, special prizes were also awarded to the Children of Africa foundations (led by the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara), Congo Assistance and Servir le Sénégal.
According to the president of the jury, Makani Diaby, 1st vice-president of the Senate, these Awards were awarded according to the following criteria: “To be a foundation. Have at least 3 years of existence on January 30, 2019. Be active on the African continent or in the African diaspora. Have a functional website, have already carried out quality actions in the field, having a lasting impact on beneficiaries. Be proposed by the organizing committee, associations, the media or a third person as a foundation”.
Leading the inaugural conference of the 1st edition of the Africa Foundations Awards on the theme: “African Foundations, Perspectives and Impacts on the African Continent”, Professor Aliou Mané, President of the Atlantic University, underlined the “imperative” need to legislate only for foundations. For him, the need to create a specific legal framework for foundations lies in the role they play in the socio-economic development of countries.
“Many schools and health facilities that we encounter in isolated areas have been built and are the subject of sustained attention from foundations in general. If the foundations did not exist, they would have had to be invented. Fortunately, like their counterparts in the northern hemisphere, many African and African-based foundations continue to support public action. Whether it is a question of creating banking institutions, oil companies, electricity companies, cellular telephone companies, initiated by public or private personalities, foundations act” he argued.
For him, the challenges of development, the specificity of the problems according to the regions and sectors of the population concerned, require that NGOs and associations take charge of the training of management staff and the management of daily activities. “Managers and foundation execution staff must be supervised to ensure that the destination of the funds made available to them is an effective destination and that the money does not disappear along the way. The qualification of the agents responsible for identifying, identifying, evaluating and carrying out material and financial support tasks is the essential basis for the success of their actions”. According to the academic, this will avoid the losses observed in the management of the administration of foundations and in the identification of the destinations of contributions in equipment and finance. The second conference was moderated by Diabaté Fatoumata, Deputy Executive Secretary, DG Lonaci Advisor on the theme: “Theme: Foundations, social actions and the well-being of African populations”.
Source: Intelligent d’Abidjan on November 19, 2019. (in french)