USADF and WPDI Announce Partnership to Promote Peace and Entrepreneurship in Post-Conflict Communities in South Sudan and Uganda

Senator Chris Van Hollen (left) was one of several members of Congress who joined WPDI Founder/CEO Forest Whitaker and USADF President/CEO C.D. Glin for the partnership announcement.

Senator Chris Van Hollen (left) was one of several members of Congress who joined WPDI Founder/CEO Forest Whitaker and USADF President/CEO C.D. Glin for the partnership announcement.

Washington, D.C. – April 4, 2019 – The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) announced a new partnership for an innovative program to aid post-conflict communities in South Sudan and Uganda. C.D. Glin, USADF President and CEO, and Forest Whitaker, WPDI Founder and CEO and Academy Award-winning actor, made the announcement today during a special event on Capitol Hill, hosted by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Formally known as the USADF and WPDI Initiative for Peace Building through Entrepreneurship, the new program combines USADF’s successful community enterprise development model with WPDI’s peace building and conflict resolution training in local areas previously ravaged by war and sustained conflict. The program is designed to help communities generate income to rebuild their society, while learning new skills focused on creating trust and social cohesion.

“USADF’s partnership with WPDI furthers our commitment to invest in grassroots efforts that benefit Africa’s most valuable resource — its young people,” says C.D. Glin, USADF’s President and CEO. “Expanding our existing efforts and investments in Uganda and South Sudan to align with WPDI’s impactful work established a model of collaboration that will truly transform lives and create pathways to prosperity.”

The USADF-WPDI program will provide grant funding and support services to up to 20 small groups and enterprises each in South Sudan and Uganda (up to 40 total), consisting of youth aged 18-35 and women of any ages, with an emphasis on gender equality. Targeted groups will be those working in agriculture, trade, marketing, and renewable energy. The goal is for the selected enterprises to establish a profitable business model while positively impacting the income of the entrepreneurs and their enterprise members and workers.

“As a non-governmental organization, this opportunity for WPDI to partner with a U.S. Government agency speaks volumes about the shared visions our two organizations have for fostering peace and prosperity,” says Forest Whitaker, WPDI Founder and CEO. “We’re looking forward to building on the work we’ve done in South Sudan and Uganda, giving young people the resources they need to bring about transformational change.”

Peace and conflict resolution training will be integrated into the curriculum for all participants. The objective is to develop awareness and leadership skills, enabling them to serve as leaders in their respective communities.

# # #

About the United States African Development Foundation (USADF)
USADF is the U.S. government’s African enterprise development agency. The agency invests in grassroots, small, and growing businesses, promotes local economic development, and creates pathways to prosperity for underserved communities. Utilizing a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance to early stage enterprises addressing local challenges such as food security, energy access, and women and youth employment. Annually, USADF’s grant assistance for enterprise development and expansion generates approximately $100 million in new local economic activity throughout 20 African countries.

Learn more at www.usadf.gov. Communications contact: Jarvis Holliday, jholliday@usadf.gov, 202-233-8856.

About the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI)
WPDI is a non-governmental organization with an international scope and reach, founded by social activist and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace, Forest Whitaker in 2012. The organization develops an array of peace-building programs, initiatives, and campaigns to foster peace and reconciliation in fragile communities in different regions of the world, including Africa, Latin America, and the United States. WPDI seeks to bring good men and women together and to empower them to become peace leaders and agents of positive transformations in their countries and communities.

Learn more at www.wpdi.org. Communications contact: Joseph Good, joseph@wpdi.org, 213-625-0410.