Two years is a short time but a long time to do great things. This was a highpoint at Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria‘s Thursday Talks, a monthly conversation with thought leaders, change agents and active citizens aimed at driving conversations around the demand for good governance driven by active citizenship. The initiative which started two years ago has truly grown into a reliable nation-wide conversation platform.
On this edition, Osayi Alile (CEO, Act Foundation) and Innocent Chukwuma (Regional Director, West Africa, Ford Foundation) discussed ‘The Future of Philanthropy in Nigeria,’ moderated by ‘Gbenga Sesan and Yemi Adamolekun.
Starting the conversation, Osayi asked if people really believe what they say when going on any stage. And applying this to NGOs, ‘are they providing sustainable solutions? Do they believe in themselves?’
‘Before we think of sustainability, we need to first think of survival irrespective of what is going on. We need to think of new ways of managing the situation,’ Osayi says.
In his vast experience in philanthropy, Innocent said social enterprises need to think less of charity in philanthropy and focus more on justice. ‘We should be moving from generosity to justice, especially now that COVID-19 has shown the gross inequality in the economic sector.
‘If we don’t move from generosity to justice, we won’t be able to talk about sustainability.
‘Charity is important in philanthropy but we need to dive deeply into the ultimate objective which is justice – speaking for the voiceless.’
In his explanation, Innocent gives example of the lockdown in Nigeria and how we have failed to realise that about 90% of Nigerians feed from hand to mouth. ‘What are social enterprises doing about this? Are they asking questions?’
Osayi reiterated Innocent who mentioned that people with philanthropic ideas do not need to open some other enterprise when they could just take the idea to an existing entity.
Innocent also insisted that NGOs need to stop depending on grants and look to solving problems that can turn into products that people will want to pay for.
‘There is a market for solving social problems that do not have to be solved by grants,’ Innocent says.
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Thursday Talks Lagos which holds on the last Thursday of every month is an initiative of Enough is Enough (EiE Nigeria); a network of individuals and organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability through active citizenship, The Future Project (TFP); a not-for-profit organisation committed to building empowered citizens across Africa, through (inclusive) enterprise and (active) citizenship and BudgIT; a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement to facilitate societal change.
The initiative is proudly supported by YNaija, the internet newspaper for young Nigerians, focused on the issues and ideas that matter for an evolving generation.