New York, 20 September 2022 (TDI): USAID Administrator, Samantha Power announced the Africa Localization Initiative at a round table event held on the sidelines of the UNGA 77 in New York on 19th September.

Africa Localization Initiative

In her address, Samantha Power said, “Based on what we’ve learned in Central America, today I am announcing a new, similar regional approach in Sub-Saharan Africa – the Africa Localization Initiative.”

She added, “Working with our partners in Congress, we intend to set aside funding exclusively to work with local organizations. We are doing this to elevate their leadership as we work to achieve shared goals.”

Administrator Power also expressed excitement about the upcoming partnership of USAID with local organizations across the continent.

This initiative plans on increasing ownership amongst the local communities. It will erase any barriers in their way to exercising leadership.

At least half of all USAID programs create space for local communities to determine their development priorities. They are welcome to manage the design and implementation of the work or measure its results.

Samantha Power also discussed the difficulty level of taking up this initiative and its implementation. She said that it is not going to happen on its own, USAID will have to engage with the marginalized and unrepresented communities along with other partners.

She added, “Putting this into practice could be as simple as translating USAID solicitations into local languages. Or it can be as complex as infusing local customs and expertise into our programs.”

The Africa Localization Initiative aims to work with the local community as a partner, not just a beneficiary. This approach will help run the developmental projects more efficiently.

Also read: USAID supports Grow Ghana Initiative

USAID has been working towards these goals, it has developed tools to make it easier to work with USAID. Last November, the agency launched a website called WorkWithUSAID. It provides easy-to-access information about funding and partnership opportunities.

Since the launch of WorkWithUSAID, approximately 3,000 organizations have registered in the Partner Directory. Most of them are local organizations, and USAID has never worked with the majority of them before.