CIFF’s Nairobi office has been operational since 2009, and in 2019 we opened our office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (officially signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ethiopian Government in 2018), increasing the level of localisation and on-the-ground programme development and leadership in East Africa. To date, CIFF investments span across 29 African countries with our largest investments in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Mozambique.
CIFF’s first integrated Africa Strategy for 2020-2025 was developed in 2019. This strategy is committed to building systemic solutions, resilient communities and local capacity. It will focus on harnessing African expertise and growth while ensuring advancements can be organically sustained across three primary countries – Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria. The goal is to ensure the development and implementation of high impact, large-scale and evidence-based grant programmes that deliver transformational change across our priority geographies in Africa.
Child Health and Development: This is CIFF’s mature portfolio in Africa and includes a wide range of investments – working with technology partners and national governments to revamp the entire antenatal care delivery platform so that the next generation is born healthy and reaches its full potential in Kenya and Ethiopia; to solving long-term problems such as acute food security issues of small holder farmers across eight African countries through partners like 1AF (One Acre Fund).Our strategic focus on resilient communities aims to strengthen communities’ abilities to withstand climate impacts and to increase community norms and behaviours that prevent critical illnesses. Under this strategic focus, we will continue our work with country governments to ensure that the food consumed is affordable, nutritious, safe, and sustainable.
Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Focusing on the intersection of climate impacts and nutrition as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) is a key foundation to build, upon which children can thrive.CIFF seeks to support fundamental human needs through WASH – tackling infectious diseases in a synchronised manner to realise healthy and socio-economically transformed communities. Our overall goal is to ensure that children and their carers are free from debilitating diseases, which can hinder nutrition and cognitive development, cause pain and permanent disability, and prevent girls and women from achieving their full potential.In light of these strategies, our Geshiyaro programme is testing the feasibility of breaking transmission for schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths in the southern region of Ethiopia, using a combination of community-wide deworming treatments, WASH improvements and behaviour change.
Breaking transmission of worms is also the goal of the Audacious END Fund’s Deworming Innovation Fund, which will soon begin innovative mapping methods to estimate infection levels and deliver customised implementation plans in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.CIFF’s investment in the AcceleraTE programme, led by Sightsavers, aims to eliminate blinding trachoma in 14 African countries through integrated neglected tropical diseases programmes and reducing child mortality using preventive trachoma treatment. To expedite the trachoma elimination effort in Ethiopia, we launched Operation Sight in late 2019, which will enable the Government of Ethiopia to triple the number of Integrated Eye Care Workers, clearing the trachoma surgery backlog and closing the gap on eye surgeries sustainably. Finally, we continue support to The Carter Center in their decades-long fight towards Guinea Worm Eradication.
This pillar of the Africa strategy focuses on girls’ choices and girls’ opportunities and builds on CIFF’s long-standing investments in relation to adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health choices, adding a new focus on facilitating opportunities to improve the lives of girls through school completion and access to skills and livelihoods. CIFF Africa’s Girl Capital work prioritises scalable, cost efficient interventions that address the interdependent, holistic needs of girls in the pursuit of deeper and more sustainable outcomes, while enabling girls to make their own choices and decisions regarding their health and wellbeing.
In Ethiopia, under the Roadmap for Integrating Smart Start in Ethiopia (RISE) investment, we have already demonstrated the viability and impact of working in partnership with governments in targeting adolescents. The success of RISE in providing a clear pathway for sustainability through government integration will serve as the blueprint for subsequent Girl Capital investments.