Reflecting on the first year of Africa No Filter: What we learned and Why We Invested

Deciding that stories told about Africa could be more reflective of the dynamic, evolving continent that we are, we positioned ourselves as watchdogs, curators and funder of efforts to deliver a nuanced, authentic narrative of the continent. Hitting the ground running, we ventured into grant-making, research, disruption projects and community building. And a year later, the result speaks for itself.

With a small team of 9 and USD1.5m to invest in 97 grantees and 5 research projects, what we have created is an expanded ecosystem of storytellers and content creators who are skilled, informed, connected, supported and in a better position to churn out narratives that is not a disservice to the difference and divergence that is the African people. We share this journey in our Why We Invested Report.

From finding and funding young African creatives, encouraging the upskilling of African journalists to investing in innovative storytelling, we amplified emerging voices and created room for even more diverse content. From funding research and partnering with several media platforms, we pioneered conversations, unpacked youth narratives and produced locally relevant and globally competitive content.

Because our work spans such a large continent and culturally diverse people, we've learned to be dynamic, to take risks and to take leaps of faith. What our first year of grant-making and research has revealed is that there is no "sure way" to deliver effective grant-making and philanthropy. We've learned that while reports from our grantees help as an essential feedback on progress, milestones and approaches; building and sustaining relationships with them has made all the difference.

The Why We Invested report details our journey so far. As we evaluate our first year and interrogate whether our current strategy is producing significant results and meaningful impact, we invite you to explore our phenomenal journey of impact so far.