Over the course of 2021-2024, Karibu will instigate a pilot project related to a new grantmaking program, currently known as the “Karibu New Realities Grant“.

The pilot aims to support bold, innovative, forward thinking, “constructive troublemaking”, and imaginative initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa that add new dimensions and makes stronger the collective struggle for systemic justice. Grants that eventually are provided in this pilot will support creative, strategic, agenda-setting, and network-building groups in Sub-Saharan Africa that are able to connect the local / national struggle with regional / global realities.

The project will take a participatory grant-making approach, where African activists themselves will define a majority of the criteria, reporting requirements, and not least the decisions of what initiatives receive grants within the bounds of this pilot project. All grants that are eventually awarded from this pilot project will be in line with overall vision, aims and objectives of the Karibu Foundation.

More information about applying for Cycle 2 can be found here.

What do we mean when we say “Participatory Grantmaking”?

There is no formal definition of participatory grantmaking, but many agree that it:

Emphasizes “nothing about us without us.”
Shifts power about grantmaking decisions by involving—or giving all power to—the people most affected by the issues or problems.
Empowers and gives agency to people who benefit from funding to determine the priorities of their lives.

Participatory grantmaking therefore is about ceding decision-making power about funding decisions—including the strategy and criteria behind those decisions— to the very communities that a foundation aims to serve.

Source: “Deciding together: Shifting power and resources through participatory grantmaking”, Cynthia Gibson (2018)

Sub-Sahara Africa in focus

New Cartographies: The Production of Africa Rising. Chimurenga Chronic, 2015.

Africa continues to be at the forefront of Neo-colonialism, Neo-imperialism, and extractivism in many forms, with a wide range of old and emerging powers playing active roles in this exploitation.   This reality relates to many of the themes that Karibu is already working very closely with:  trade, militarism, climate justice, food sovereignty, and more.  

Africa continues also to be hit hard by the new realities of the post COVID-19 world, as vaccines are not expected to much of the continent before 2024 while much of the rest of the world already this year  “aims to move forward” after the pandemic.  Yet the consequences of the pandemic will continue to hit the global South (including Africa) the hardest.

Karibu (which means “welcome” in Swahili) also has its historic roots with close partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Many of the projects and partners Karibu supported in Africa over the past 35 years have been related to processes of a collective African voice in the struggle for justice, pan-Africanism, or in some way related to the “African Renaissance”.   Many of these processes, however, have either stalled, stopped completely, or have not reached the goals they had originally aimed to achieve (for various external and internal reasons).  There is also a clear generational shift occurring, with many of the previous generation of change actors now becoming the elders of movements.  

The pilot then aims to support the collective transition to a new courageous generation of actors as they continue the struggle for a just world and more just Africa. 

Vision for the pilot

Showcase 1


To express, also in
the Karibu grantmaking, the practical consequence of systemic change, of reorganising of power, of concrete expression of the values of ‘nothing about us without us’.

Showcase 2


To identify and provide resources for next generation / new models of activism, popular mobilisation and resistance, innovation and alternatives with the
view of contributing to systemic and system change (stopping the bad & building the new).

Showcase 3


To test out contemporary
ideas / models of
Participatory Grant
Making (PGM) as a pilot, across themes and national boundaries.


Cycle 1 (2022)

Read more about highlights from Cycle 1 in our 2022 Annual Report.

Tentative Timeline

July 1, 2021

Pilot launch

The Karibu New Realities Grant pilot is launched.

July 1, 2021
September 1, 2021

Formation of PGM “Reference Group” and organizational nominations

A “reference group” consisting of mainly African activists is formed, who will decide the composition of the final PGM Core Group. Karibu will contact various organizations and networks for nominations.

September 1, 2021
January 1, 2022

Cycle 1

PGM Core Group formed, and Cycle 1 of the pilot commences.

Grant program details announced on June 20th, 2022. Grant application deadline for Cycle 1: August 15th, 2022.

January 1, 2022
January 1, 2023

Cycle 2

Cycle 2 of the pilot commences.

Grant applications for Cycle 2 opens on June 20th, 2023. Grant application deadline for Cycle 2: August 16th, 2023.

January 1, 2023
January 1, 2024

Learning and evaluation

A learning and evaluation process will take place in 2024.

January 1, 2024

More info

Attached are additional information documents: