Africans in the Diaspora

After ten years of experimentation, fundraising and joyful pan-African solidarity, Africans in the Diaspora has decided that it is time to cease our operations.

Africans in the Diaspora (AiD) emerged in 2012 as a crowdfunding platform to demonstrate the powerful impact that collective resources pooled from Africans can have. Disappointed with philanthropy’s lack of investment in visionary African movements, co-founders Solomé Lemma, Stephanie deWolfe and Zanele Sibanda created AiD as a platform to connect Africans in the diaspora and on the continent committed to African-owned, -driven, and -led transformative change. In the first few years of AiD, three successful crowdsourcing campaigns were organized that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various African organizations, including some who provided critical community support during the 2014 Ebola epidemic.

In 2020, five years after having formally merged with Thousand Currents, AiD relaunched under the vision and direction of Zahra Dalilah and Luam Kidane. Through its work, we learnt a huge amount about the power of centering relationships between Africans in the diaspora and on the continent. We dived into the nuances of what it means to share pan-African space that is accessible, collaborative and linguistically just. We shared stories and forged connections across waters, histories and issues that remain like tightly woven cloth – a protective cover for the work of all those involved.

AiD blazed a trail and showed us all how Africans, Afrodescendents and Black peoples embody philanthropy far better than many philanthropic institutions. That experiment came to a close at a time where Thousand Currents could confidently say that all that we’ve learnt is ready to be fully integrated into our overarching programmes, rather than as a separate silo. Africans in the Diaspora will continue to live in the critical donor education and donor organizing work of Thousand Currents, as long as there is money to be moved. Be on the lookout for all the AiD blog posts and projects here, which will be coming soon.

But before we go, we have a parting gift. Gathering astute and powerful story and observation by voices in philanthropy that move, shake and shift – we present to you Speaking Back, Speaking Black, a magazine by Africans in the Diaspora.


Soil and Soul

Celebrating African, Afrodescendant and Black food producers
Soil and Soul was a series by Africans in the Diaspora which celebrated Africans, Afrodescendant and Black food producers on the continent or in the diaspora, who make it possible for others to access food that is good for people, planet, soil and soul.

For five weeks, we shared one story a day of an individual or a collective who is vital to ensuring people eat, and eat well. The result is what you see here: a beautiful pan-African patchwork of tales which overlap and underpin one another, sharing in them the delight, lament, struggle and celebration of fighting for and working with the land.


Practicing Liberation

Practicing Liberation

A Survey of Contemporary African, Afrodescendant, and Black Liberatory Economic Practices
This article by Angolan feminist economist Âurea Mouzinho explores the liberatory African, Afrodescendant, and Black economic practices that are making the necessary change, in real time.

The piece showcases African solutions to global problems, and demonstrates what a path toward a socially, ecologically and economically just future could look like.


Resourcing Your Community


How to sustain social movements through community provision
This toolkit offers an opportunity to explore other avenues to resourcing movements which can create a healthier distance from institutional philanthropy and push the work of African, Afrodescendent and Black social movements into greater freedom and fewer restrictions.

Drawing on the wisdom of four case studies, and an in depth analysis of capitalism, meritocracy and trust and risk as a foundational principles of wealth redistribution, it explores how communities can, do and have pooled funds to sustain essential community work locally, regionally and transnationally.


Our Pan-African Consciousness

A five episode podcast exploring contemporary pan-African thought
We teamed up with Tribe Named Athari, a UK based youth group, to explore pan-Africanism. Though the views expressed in each podcast are the perspectives of each individual and not necessarily AiD’s, we are delighted to hear reflections on why and how different people understand and practice their pan-Africanism alongside other political frameworks dear to them from anti-capitalism to Black feminism.

Listen to Podcast


Chop It Up

A series of five virtual dialogues
A monthly series of five online events that took place between January and May 2021. In the course of the series, speakers explored visions of a world where climate justice, food sovereignty and alternative economics have created the conditions for African life to thrive.

View Project


Holding Our Ground: Voices for Food Sovereignty

A series about the lives of 13 African farmers
Captured by Rudo Chigudu, the stories take us from resisting life under apartheid in South Africa, to migration through different parts of Ethiopia, to stories of building a movement of women farmers in West Africa all through the lens of each farmer’s fight for food sovereignty, for agroecology, in defense of life, land, and territory.

Visit 13 African Farmers