The Kofi Annan Foundation is delighted to announce that it has received important new grants and donations. These will greatly help us deliver on our mission to build on Kofi Annan’s legacy for peace by advancing democracy, youth leadership and international cooperation.
Mr Ivan Pictet, a member of the Board of the Kofi Annan Foundation, former Senior Partner of Pictet & Cie, and former President of Fondation pour Genève, donated one million Swiss Francs to the Foundation at the end of December 2022. Mr Pictet was a close friend of Kofi Annan, and through this gift, Mr Pictet wished to honour and uphold Kofi Annan’s legacy.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of the Foundation, Elhadj As Sy, its Chair, expressed deep gratitude for the generous gift, which will serve to amplify the reach and impact of the Foundation’s projects, while allowing it to build its knowledge, expertise, network and communication tools in 2023.
This year also marks the start of the ‘Women and Youth in Democracy’ project in Sub-Saharan Africa, funded by the European Commission and led by the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD). As members of the EPD, the Kofi Annan Foundation, jointly with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and The Oslo Center, will establish two ‘Accountability Hubs’ in Anglophone East Africa and Francophone West Africa. The Foundation will be granted just over one million Euros for the project, which will be implemented over four years.
As the pressure is mounting on democracy, the rule of law and human rights globally, there is an urgent need to protect and support democracies worldwide. With half of the world’s population aged under 30, continued support for democracy is highly dependent on the engagement of young people. However, they are systematically underrepresented in public affairs, including in parliaments, political parties and at the ballot boxes. Economic and educational barriers to youth participation are exacerbated by a lack of information about democratic processes and ways of becoming active citizens.
With its partners, the Foundation will select 20 young leaders every year with a proven interest in and track record of working on issues related to democracy, accountability, transparency, and youth participation in Sub-Saharan Africa. These young people will receive training, networking and mentoring, and will be tasked with creating an Accountability Toolkit for young people and youth-led organisations.
The European Commission has also pledged nearly 600,000 Euros for the “Bridges to Peace” project, which the Foundation will undertake over 18 months in 2023 and 2024 with the Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum (UMYDF). Building on their well-established cooperation through the Extremely Together programme, the Foundation and UMYDF will conduct a series of urgent interventions to address the rise in terrorist activities and attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces in Uganda. The project will seek to broaden community awareness and preparedness against violent extremism, strengthen the capacity of individuals and communities to resist violent extremist narratives, and reinforce the country’s capacity to reintegrate returning combatants.
The Foundation is grateful to all its institutional and individual donors. Their support shows confidence in the Foundation’s ability to make a difference and contribute to a more peaceful, fairer world. We continue to rely on this type of support and hope to increase our impact even further through new partnerships in the years to come.