Comic Relief announce five new delivery partners under Common Ground Initiative

17th May 2017

Comic Relief has today announced five new delivery partners as part of the Common Ground Initiative (CGI), a programme set up to harness UK African communities’ ability to drive positive change in Africa. The new partnerships will receive a total of £4.7 million funding to help maximise the impact of investment by UK based African communities and champion women and girls’ rights.

Investment in local businesses across Africa has a vital role to play driving long-term economic growth - helping create jobs and build skills. African communities outside the continent are a key source of this investment and the CGI programme is funding new delivery partner, the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), to encourage more investment in small businesses and build better links between business leaders in the UK and Africa.

CGI is also providing new funding to Africa Technology Business Network; iSpace and the Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (FORWARD) to support innovative partnerships between organisations in the UK and Africa that champion the leadership of women. The partnerships will help women in Africa challenge inequality and have a stronger voice in their communities.

Kevin Cahill, CEO Comic Relief, said; “African communities in the UK have already shown that they can use their unique understanding of African countries to be a really powerful force for change.

“Comic Relief is proud to have pioneered this innovative approach alongside the Department for International Development, which has helped create opportunities and improve lives across Africa. The delivery partners we have announced today will enable the initiative to have an even greater impact inspiring investment in small businesses and empowering women to achieve their potential.”

The CGI programme also has a long term commitment to support leadership and harness the opportunities presented by new technologies. In line with this, funding has also been awarded to Common Purpose Charitable Trust to deliver a learning leadership programme for African community leaders in the UK.

All of the new delivery partners are also being encouraged to use innovative technology in their work, particularly new digital and mobile solutions that could help people in Africa to transform their lives and drive positive change in their communities. To take this forward, on 6th September, Comic Relief opened applications to a new Innovation Fund – with a specific focus on empowering young women and encouraging Tech for Change.