Africa Philanthropy Network (APN): Call For The Youth Research Associates, Apply Now!

In case you missed it, APN is offering an opportunity for youth aged 18-35 to showcase their research skills on important social justice issues and African philanthropic practices.

Proposed Theme“Philanthropic practices for Collective Freedom from Collective Struggles

Submission Deadline: 29 February 2024

APN Background

Africa Philanthropy Network (APN) is the only continent-wide network of organizations and individuals in Africa and its diaspora who promotes the culture of philanthropic giving. It is conceived as a space for African institutions to interrogate and intervene in the power dynamics that shape how resource mobilization, distribution and spending impact the possibilities of transformative change in Africa. APN’s mission is to elevate the power of African philanthropy giving practices.

In achieving this mission, APN is working in collaborate with its members & other philanthropy support organizations to promote voice and action of African philanthropy through the building of solidarity and coordinated response in African philanthropy landscape; rethinking and build the case for the potential for African (individual and community) philanthropy to drive social change.

Brief Insight to the Research Project

The APN Youth Leaders in Research Project will offer a platform for youth to share their perspectives on philanthropic giving practices in collective struggles through research papers. As we work towards shaping the narratives around African giving under the values of Ubuntu, it is imperative that youth voices are at the center. We launched the APN Essay contest in 2021 with a focus on drawing inspiration from Africa’s youth on the power of African philanthropy in championing social change. In 2022, the theme was; “the role of African philanthropy in addressing community challenges”.  Then, in 2023 the theme was; “African Philanthropy Practice in the age of ongoing Climate Change”. Since the launch of the contest, we have received an increased number of entries, from which wining essays have been awarded and published in booklets

For the 2024 edition we have decided to deepen the contribution of youth in shaping the narratives about African philanthropic practices, advocating for recognition of philanthropy as a durable strategy for development and values through research papers instead of one-time essays.  African philanthropy can be a tool to mobilize the demand side of systems change and by modelling alternative practices and structures that encourage new voices in the mainstream development knowledge economy.

The call 4th contest in 2024 is “African philanthropic practices for Collective Freedom from Collective Struggles”.  The adage that we are not free until every single one of us is free holds true now more than ever. It no longer serves us to operate in silos and in isolation. How can we start thinking of alleviating the various struggles in African communities as collective responsibility? In what ways are these struggles interconnected; what do climate justice, disability justice and gender-based violence have in common? How can thinking of them as connected, shift our efforts and fortify our goal of collective freedom. What is the role of African philanthropic practices amidst the current and future struggles towards collective freedom?


 The objective of this intervention is to encourage young Africans to engage with the unique and disproportionate ways African communities are impacted by various struggles, and how these hinder collective freedoms. We want young Africans to deeply interrogate the impacts of an ongoing dynamic of relational power in communities, and how philanthropic practices have been mobilized (or not) to mitigate these impacts; how African philanthropy can be a tool for freedom for all.

Guidelines for the research proposal
Here are some prompts to help shape your thoughts:

  • How power dynamics and its subsequent effects are affecting African communities? Which communities/population groups have been particularly/uniquely affected by the effects of existing power dynamics? How have African communities mobilized to adopt or mitigate the effects power dynamics have had on them?
  • How are (civil) society actors responding to the increasing effects of social injustices in African communities? How effective are these actors in addressing policy change for social justice?
  • What would it look like to support communities most impacted by the effects of social injustices? (consider innovative solutions perhaps including technology, policy advocacy, community resources mobilization).
  • How effective have existing policies been in tackling the effects of existing systemic social injustices? (focus on the national policies)

An important detail you must not forget is to clearly show the connected nature of the struggles and injustices and/or the connected nature of the mitigation measures.

Coverage: The Call will cover sub–Saharan Africa countries

Entry Languages: English and French.

Selection criteria:

Research pitch will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Originality and creativity
  • Relevance to the theme and clear focus of interconnectedness
  • Clarity and coherence of ideas
  • Quality of research and references

The youth research initiative will be implemented from February through July 2024. Below are the planned deadlines.

16th FebruaryLaunch a call for pitches
16th February – 29th February 2024Submissions open
19th MarchAnnouncement of Selected Youth Associates
1st April – 18th June 2024Research work
19th June – 30th JulyFinalization and publication

How to apply

Apply through this link by 29th February 2024.  Pitches will be collected between 16th February 2024 and shall be closed not later than 29th February, 2024 at 23:59 EAT. For any questions, please contact Karen Chalamilla at the ([email protected]



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