23 Jan 2020

Africa 2020 Ambition: Deepening CIFF’s engagement in Africa

2020 marks an ambitious new chapter in CIFF’s engagement in Africa. This summary will outline the direction we’re taking to further progress our efforts in contributing to impact on the continent, and to guide our collaboration with partners, co-founders, and civil society over the next five years.

Over the course of 2019, CIFF embarked on a process of engaging various stakeholders deeply engaged in Africa, to identify Africa’s most pressing challenges. The 2020 Africa Strategy is a response to collaborative thinking and African thought leadership that will anchor CIFF’s investments in Africa over the next 5 years towards a transformational theory of change.

The strategy prioritises two objectives:

  •  To embed a commitment to integrated, systemic solutions to address needs identified, by Africans, African governments, institutions, Civil Society, and communities.
  • To recognise and harness African expertise, growth and leadership in order to leverage context specific, locally sustainable, and appropriately governed solutions. 

Smart Start - ET

CIFF’s overarching vision is to ensure that a demographic dividend is achievable, and we shall do this, by primarily focusing our work on girls and young women. It is our belief that having a gender focus related to health, opportunities, education, and autonomy of young women and girls, is the ultimate gateway to a demographic dividend.

Whilst honouring pre-existing programmes, we will progressively evolve our portfolio to align with the pillars below:


  1. ‘For Africa, by Africa’: supporting Africa’s self-determination via African giving, financing, and policy making.

  2. Resilient communities: strengthening communities’ ability to withstand climate impacts and to further community norms and behaviours that prevent critical and adverse illnesses.

  3. Girls’ choices: empower young women and girls to manage their reproductive health and wellbeing proactively, effectively, and independently.

  4. Girls’ opportunities: ensuring complete education, life skills, and access to sustainable livelihoods.

Strategy infographic Africa

When considering our geographic scope, we intend to focus our work in countries with demonstrated need, clear potential for impact, as well as highly engaged governments to ensure with have both the approval and buy-in required for optimum success. To this end, alignment with the priorities of local governments, communities, and institutions will be a central tenet.

Ethiopia adolescent girls
As a result, CIFF’s initial geographic focus over the course of the next five years will be Kenya and Ethiopia, led by our expanding offices in Nairobi and Addis, and our growing in-country partnerships. We will also explore opportunities for targeted work in Nigeria and parts of Francophone West Africa, ensuring our programmes represent the diverse realities that exist across Africa and are responsive to contextual needs.


CIFF is thrilled to work on implementing this new strategy with our partners, grantees (both present and future), and supporting governments, and we thank those that supported us in its development. We now look forward to yielding tangible and catalytic change over the coming years.





CIFF Africa Strategy 2020-2025

Interested in discovering more about our new strategy? Take a look at this helpful two-pager below. 

CIFF Africa Strategy 2020-2025