US - African Development Foundation (USADF)

The United States of America

African Development Foundation


The US-African Development Foundation Act of 1980 established a new agency with a unique mission to by-pass layers of government inefficiencies by working directly with the most needy communities in Africa.  USADF programs respond to local project requests by actively engage the local community group or enterprise in the design and implementation of the projects. This ensures that outcomes will best address the real community needs.


The United States African Development Foundation provides grants of up to $250,000 in grants to community groups and small enterprises that benefit under served and marginalized groups in Africa.  A marginalized group means people that have significant needs that are not being currently addressed by existing governments programs, NGOs, or other international development efforts. USADF measures grant success in terms of jobs, increased incomes levels, and improved social conditions. 


USADF currently operates in 21 African countries.

                         I.      Benin

                      II.      Mauritania

                   III.      Botswana

                   IV.      Namibia

                      V.      Burkina Faso

                   VI.      Niger

                VII.      Burundi

             VIII.      Nigeria

                    IX.      Cape Verde

                       X.      Rwanda

                    XI.      Ghana

                 XII.      Senegal

              XIII.      Guinea

              XIV.      Swaziland

                 XV.      Liberia

              XVI.      Tanzania

           XVII.      Malawi

        XVIII.      Uganda

              XIX.      Mali           

                 XX.      Zambia

              XXI.      Zimbabwe


The majority of U.S. appropriated dollars are applied to USADF client projects that directly fund expansion and growth activities for small enterprises, farmer associations, cooperatives, and community groups that create jobs and generate better income levels in poor communities. In FY 2011 more than $15 million of appropriated dollars are budgeted for projects grants.  USADF will continue to emphasis sustainable economic growth as a key component to all eligible project applications.

Approved project applications are typically funded in one of two following grant assistance mechanisms:


Enterprise Expansion Grants (EEG) – Provides funding up to $250,000 over five years for established enterprises and organizations with a viable growth and expansion plan.


Operational Assistance Grants (OAG) – Provides funding up to $100,000 over two years for improving financial, managerial, and technical capacity, and for limited fixed capital or working capital items. This grant positions the organization to more effectively utilize future expansion funding.


Capacity Development through Partner Organizations


Program funding is also directed toward local partner organizations that deliver local technical services needed by USADF grantees. These partner organizations help ensure the success of USADF investments in local community groups and enterprises. Partner organizations also gain long term capabilities to provide ongoing economic development support within each country not only for USADF activities and programs but also as agents of change for other economic growth and development activities. In FY 2011 ADF will invest over $4 million to develop local partner organizations in 18 African countries.


Are you eligible for USADF funding?


USADF provides funding for the following types of groups:


             I.      AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES and SMALL-SCALE PRODUCER GROUPS:  An organization formed by a group of small-scale farmers, artisans, or producers to achieve some or all of the advantages of large-scale marketing and production. 

          II.      COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS (CBOs):  An organization made up of a group of people who come together to accomplish a common goal or a set of goals tailored to meet the development needs of their community. 

       III.      AFRICAN INTERMEDIARY ORGANIZATIONS (AIOs):  An organization that works directly with very low-income people and marginalized groups.

       IV.      SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMEs): A registered enterprise that employs up to 100 workers, has annual sales revenues up to $500,000, and has a business plan that impacts communities either directly within their enterprise or indirectly through supply-chain linkages. 


The majority of USADF's funding agreements range between $50,000 and $250,000.  USADF does not provide funding to government agencies, political parties, or NGOs that are not based in Africa.  Please note, USADF does not provide funding or scholarships to individuals



             I.      NGO must be 100 percent African-owned and managed.

          II.      NGO must be a legally recognized African entity (or in the process of becoming legally registered. Registration must be completed before any funding may be provided)

       III.      NGO must demonstrate that it has successfully worked together and has the potential to productively utilize development funds.

       IV.      The ownership and management must be in agreement on the problem to be addressed and have a commitment to benefit their community.

          V.      NGO must have basic functional management and controls to use and account for USADF funds.

For more info email to:


The NGO Funding Consultants