Africare News Release
Africare President Visits USADF Projects
Washington, DC August 25, 2009—Africare President Julius Coles recently joined U. S. African Development Foundation (USADF) President Lloyd Pierson and other members of the Foundation Board for visits to USADF projects in Senegal, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Coles was named to the Foundation Board in 2008 by former President George W. Bush. USADF, a grant-giving organization, currently has over 300 active project grants in 20 countries, representing just under $60 million invested in enterprises, farmer associations, cooperatives and community groups that create jobs, increase income levels, and improve social benefits in poor communities.
The visit began in Senegal with the signing of five grants for various projects: Koba Club, where women produce a pre-cooked cereal to help fill the national cereal supply gap; GIE Walilare: Bandafassi, where women are involved in the processing of non-traditional forest and farm products; GIE Fouta: Dindefello, comprised of a group of 11 women who produce baobab seed for essential oils and fonio; GIE Mere Theresa, Kedegou, where a group of 20 Bassari women who are mostly illiterate and have no access to land produce and sell fonio; and GIE Dado Ligo, Salemata, where ten women’s organizations work to obtain decent revenues for hundreds of families. The USADF Delegation also made a site visit to a Blind Craftsmen Capacity Building project in Thiaroye, near Dakar.
The Delegation then traveled to Kenya to participate in the 8th Annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Nairobi, the opening session of which was lead by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya. The three-day forum covered issues ranging from the effects of global challenges such as prolonged economic downturns to reforming the Nigerian financial sector, intellectual property rights, and sustainable financing to strengthen health systems.
From Kenya the Delegation traveled to Tanzania to review firsthand six projects including: the Maasai Women Development Organization; Nyrefami Ltd.; Jumuiya Ya Kijamii Kuhifadhi Mazingira Maliasili Na Ufugajji Endelevu; Karatu Development Association; Midawe-Mshikamoano Horticultural Cooperative Society; and the Association of Kilimanjaro Specialty Coffee Growers. All of these projects support indigenous African organizations that benefit underserved and marginalized groups.
In summing up the visits, Coles noted, “This visit gave me an excellent understanding of how the Foundation operates and makes grants to underserved populations in the various African countries visited. The visit also gave me insights into the outstanding work being done by USADF on the African continent and its very talented and dedicated staff.”
Africare is a leading non-profit organization specializing in African development aid. It is also the oldest and largest African-American led organization in that field. Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered well over $800 million in assistance and support — over 2,500 projects and millions of beneficiaries —to 36 countries Africa-wide. Africare has its international headquarters in Washington, DC, with field offices currently in some 23 African countries.