International development charity African Initiatives yesterday announced plans to close in April 2021, after a combination of changes to the funding environment and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on its income.
The charity has worked alongside grassroots partners for more than two decades to support Maasai, Iraqw and other indigenous communities across the social and economic landscape of northern Tanzania.
African Initiatives’ accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 recorded an overall income of more than £715,000.
However, a combination of changes in the funding environment and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had “seriously reduced the income needed to continue”, the charity said in a statement yesterday.
Trustees had pursued a merger with another charity, the statement said, but in the current environment the bid had “proved impossible to secure.”
As a result, African Initiatives will implement a planned closure ending in April 2021, to allow the charity to complete the majority of projects and hand them over to local partners.
This will minimise disruption to projects, partners and, most importantly, the women and girls it works with in Tanzania, the charity said.
In the statement announcing its closure, African Initiatives said the charity was particularly proud of its many achievements in girls' education, health and wellbeing, disability rights and poverty reduction.
“For more than 20 years, African Initiatives has supported thousands of women and girls in rural areas of Tanzania and helped to make our local partners’ sustainable,” chief executive of African Initiatives Kim West said in the statement.
“We are proud of our achievements and legacy, and confident our partners can continue the development programmes we helped to create, supporting education, livelihoods and health”.
The charity encouraged supporters and donors to continue to support Tanzanian partner organisations, details of which are on the charity’s website.