For over three decades, the U.S. African Development Foundation has worked on the frontier of development, empowering communities with African-led solutions to achieve growth and prosperity.
We have placed special emphasis on a few key target populations: the disabled, women, at-risk youth and ethnic and religious minorities. What is cross-cutting for all of these populations is the desire to take their place in Africa's growth story.
African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support
USADF supports African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support. This empowers those who are least served by existing markets or assistance programs to become a part of Africa’s growth story. Resilience grants empower groups to achieve greater food security and income stability. Growth grants help community enterprises expand production and achieve greater market access.
USADF responds to unsolicited applications from African community enterprises in eligible countries. USADF field staff review the application and make site visits to verify that the application fits with country strategies and broader USADF objectives. If approved, a local USADF technical partner helps the applicant turn their ideas into viable business and project plans. The partner also provides technical and monitoring support during project implementation.
Grants Types in Job Placement, Off-Grid Energy, and Youth Entrepreneurship
USADF is expanding its reach and impact by doing more job placement grants in Somalia, adding $2.8 million of new Off-Grid Energy grants in Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, and awarding $900,000 for 36 youth entrepreneurship grants. These grants leverage USADF's best practices, resources, and expertise, and position USADF to serve the evolving development priorities in Africa.
$24 million of New Project and Partner Grants Planned for 2015
The majority of USADF's budget is applied to projects grants that directly fund expansion and growth activities for small enterprises, farmer associations, cooperatives, and community groups that create jobs and generate better income levels in poor communities. In FY 2014, USADF awarded $24 million for project and partner grants.
Approved project applications are typically funded in one of two following grant assistance mechanisms:
- Enterprise Expansion Grants (EEG) – Provides funding up to $250,000 over five years for established enterprises and organizations with a viable growth and expansion plan.
- Operational Assistance Grants (OAG) – Provides funding up to $100,000 over two years for improving financial, managerial, and technical capacity, and for limited fixed capital or working capital items. This grant positions the organization to more effectively utilize future expansion funding.
Sustainable Development through Local Technical Partners
A priority for USADF program funding is building a network of African expert support providers. These Technical Partners in turn provide technical services needed by USADF grantees that help ensure their success. Partners also gain long term capabilities to provide ongoing economic development support within each country not only for USADF programs but also as change agents for other economic growth and development activities. In FY 2013 USADF invested over $4.5 million to develop local partner organizations in 19 African countries.