Grant Funding Landscape in Africa: Part 3

May 22, 2024

Grant Funding Landscape in Africa 

This is a four-part series, where we engage Irene Ikomu, The Muyi Group’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) on her insights and thoughts on funding in Africa with a special focus on Grant Funding. Check out our Insights page for other parts.

Part 2 


Question: What opportunities are available to African organizations in the grant funding landscape? 


Suppose we are just tracking within the limited sense of funding because Africa has many underdeveloped countries and several countries that have humanitarian crises like wars, there is a lot of money that is coming in both internally and externally to support and solve those problems through grants. This means that there is a lot of money available. 


There are various categories, you have nonprofits, which are the core, and the bulk of organizations that receive grant funding. You have social enterprises which is a model that has been growing over the last ten 15 -20 years as an interesting model that that addresses the question of sustainability, which nonprofits may not necessarily have because they are sold 100% dependent on grant funding. And so, these are entities that for example are solving development issues but are also charging money that would sustain the operations.  


An interesting example in Uganda would be, for example, like Booked, the booked children’s library that is trying to make books more accessible, but also by charging middle-income families a certain amount to access books at very discounted prices without necessarily having to buy them and then making those books available to more underserved communities for free. 

So now let us get into the available opportunities. Some opportunities come with a specific application window. This application window is open for a set period. They will tell you exactly how much money they want to give out and what specific problems they are trying to solve, and they invite bids from people who can solve those problems. And you share a budget, and you must fit within the set amount. 


The other opportunities are that there are some foundations, especially private foundations might have an open call throughout the year. So, they will just put out information and say look these are the type of partners we want to work with. 
It allows you to reach out to them and pitch and share your ideas and if they are aligned you get to co-create the solution together and work together based on where your ideas are, they will be a bit more flexible in their budgeting. 



Some organizations or some partners prefer to come to you. Some people have the money, and they want to come find the people themselves rather than attract them. In this case, it is about communicating about your work and them coming, finding you, and reaching out. 


Other opportunities lie in certain networks and sectors. If you attend events such as global, regional, or national summits you will find grant funding partners available. I encourage organizations, even nonprofits, to even self-fund themselves to attend some of these events with the objective of networking and try to meet as many people as you can and share your story. 


Now how can you take advantage of these opportunities? As an organization, it is important to focus on sharing your story so that then it is easy to find your information. A lot of people now do a basic Google search on you. What is it about the work that you are doing that people can find online? Align your communication, share your story, and communicate your impact. Grant funding is very much about impact. If you want to be accessible to more grant funding opportunities, make sure that you are documenting and you are sharing your impact with the world so they can see it. You could also partner with advisors or partners like The Muyi Group. We work with different organizations and help them try to find the right partner that can support their work.