A Message from



We are pleased to present the Administration’s FY 2017 budget justification for the United States African Development Foundation (USADF).  The FY 2017 request of $28.2 million will provide resources to continue serving Africa’s must vulnerable and underserved communities with grants in over 25 African countries and continue support for an active portfolio of more than 500 grants. 


USADF is on the frontier of development, working directly with Africans on the ground to combat some of Africa’s most difficult development challenges with programs to increase U.S development presence in the hardest to reach areas of extreme poverty.  USADF grants provide capital and local technical expertise to grassroots enterprises that empower the underserved to become part of Africa’s growth story.  USADF impacts 1,500,000 people each year in underserved communities across Africa.  Its innovative direct grants program (less than $250,000 per grant) supports sustainable African-owned and led solutions that tackle the effects of poverty with projects that improve food security, generate jobs, and increase family incomes.  In addition, USADF’s programs are creating a network of in-country technical service providers with local expertise critical to advancing Africa’s long-term development. 


USADF advances U.S. priorities by directing small amounts of development resources to disenfranchised groups in hard to reach, sensitive regions across Africa.  USADF ensures that critical U.S. development initiatives such as Power Africa, Feed of the Future, Trade Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and targeted national security and youth employment programs reach thousands of communities often left out of Africa’s growth story.  USADF operates in Africa using an innovative African-led and managed development model that “right sizes” efforts, directing development resources to the vulnerable rural areas with greatest need and potential for impact. 


Africa is changing, and USADF is on the frontier ensuring everyone is a part of that change. We are working with African communities on the cusp of conflict throughout the Sahel, empowering ethnic and religious minorities, improving the lives of at-risk youth and women, and creating opportunities for those often left behind – including the disabled and nomadic populations.  
USADF represents excellent foreign assistance value:


Advance Peace and Security:   The Arab Spring’s roots illustrated the first-hand effects of hunger and lack of economic opportunities for youth as primary drivers of political instability.  USADF grants help community farmers, cooperatives and enterprises achieve economic growth and stability, creating higher incomes and more employment.  We are enabling Africans to grow their business and create opportunities for increased access to food, local markets, and jobs. USADF’s African-led and -managed model creates opportunity for greater access to difficult places that are often beyond the reach of other U.S. Agencies (e.g. Nigeria’s Delta and North regions, Zimbabwe, and Somalia). 


Speed & Scale:  As a small, independent Agency, USADF is highly responsive and agile in establishing targeted development programs in Africa with Africans.  USADF can begin new programs in months rather than years.  These quick starts complement larger U.S. Government programs by providing early results and an extended reach to rural locations and underserved communities. For example, in just two years, as a part of the Power Africa Initiative, USADF has issued 50 seed capital grants to African energy entrepreneurs addressing energy poverty and off-grid energy alternatives for rural areas.


High Return on Taxpayer Dollars:  USADF programs leverage other donors’ funds.  By matching USG funds with African government and private sectors funds, the taxpayer gets increased impact for its dollar.  Over $30 million of matching donations have been used in the past 12 years. Furthermore, USADF has a cost-effective service model, with in-country technical assistance delivered at less than eleven cents per dollar on active grants. 





USADF’s enduring relationship with communities in Africa provides a unique perspective on development and stability on the continent.  As the drivers of instability proliferate, it is increasingly important for the United States to invest in economic development in Africa, particularly in ways that reach those communities of greatest need and vulnerability.  USADF affirms our commitment to country-ownership and community involvement for successful capacity building and long-term development success. Our programs inherently deliver results that extend all of the key foreign assistance priorities, including improving local food production, increasing income levels and creating an environment for economic growth, job opportunities, and addressing social needs among the most underserved communities in Africa.  These benefits help to transform the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people in hundreds of communities across Africa.  USADF’s mission is to provide grassroots communities with the opportunity to engage in and benefit from the new era of accelerated economic growth in Africa.  By working in remote areas, USADF helps create a sustainable path towards shared prosperity for underserved communities in Africa.


We look forward to your support and guidance as we seek to maintain and expand the impact of this unique foreign assistance program.


John W. Leslie, Jr., Chairman                                         Dr. John O. Agwunobi, Vice Chair                     Constance Newman, President and CEO

Click here for a copy of the full text of the CBJ.