The TRUE Africa 100 is our list of innovators, opinion-formers, game-changers, pioneers, dreamers and mavericks who we feel are shaping the Africa of today and tomorrow. We’re featuring them over 100 days and we’ve asked them all three questions.
Karisia has worked in philanthropy for the last 10 years for a variety of foundations including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. She currently manages the East Africa programme of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, a private grant making foundation. Their mission is to improve opportunities for children up to age eight who are growing up in socially and economically difficult circumstances. One of the projects they fund is Early Steps – run by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda – where communities have formed village savings and loans groups and then use this money to invest heavily in their children’s education. She is also an advisor to the African Prisons Project.
What kind of organisations are the most attractive to fund in the context of African development?
That’s easy – those that are effective and can show themselves to be so! The ones developing local talent also have an edge.
As a young member of the diaspora, what gets you the most excited about Africa?
I am excited by a pace of change that is so tangible. People are optimistic and entrepreneurial and I have a sense of pride at the technological innovation and cultural richness that is becoming ever more evident on the world stage. There are so many to mention, from the likes of businesses and startups like Ushahidi, iCow and M-PESA through to people like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lupita Nyong’o and Binyavanga Wainaina.
Who’s your African of the year?
Legendary Kenyan cartoonist Terry Hirst who died in June this year. Terry’s satirical cartoons had a huge influence on freedom of expression and generations of cartoonists in Kenya, not to mention all the childhood memories of those who grew up reading his cartoons.
Come back tomorrow for the next TRUE Africa 100 and keep up to date using the hashtag #TRUEAfrica