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This post is a summary of our recent report "Mapping the Charitable Funding Landscape for Animal Welfare in Africa: Insights and Opportunities for Farmed Animal Advocacy". We only included the most relevant parts for EA Forum readers here and invite interested readers to consult the report for more details and insights.

TL;DR

Funding towards the farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa has grown significantly over the past years, especially from EA-aligned funders. Despite these increases, farmed animal advocacy remains underfunded.

We hope that this report can help us and other stakeholders to more rapidly and effectively build the farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa. We aim to use and amplify the growing momentum identified in this report and call on any individual or organisations interested in contributing to this cause to contact us and/or increase their resources and focus dedicated towards farmed animal welfare in Africa. 

Motivation

Industrial animal agriculture is expanding rapidly in Africa, with the continent projected to account for the largest absolute increase in farmed land animal numbers of any continent between 2012 and 2050 (Kortschak, 2023).

Despite its vast scale, the issue is highly neglected by charitable funding. Lewis Bollard (2019) estimated that farmed animal advocacy work in Africa received only USD 1 million in 2019, less than 1% of global funding for farmed animal advocacy. Farmed Animal Funders (2021) estimated funding to Africa at USD 2.5 million in 2021, a significantly higher but still very low amount. Accordingly, activists and organisations on the ground cite a lack of funding as the main bottleneck for their work (Tan, 2021).

Since 2021, Animal Advocacy Africa (AAA) has actively worked towards strengthening the farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa, with some focus on improving funding. With this report, we aim to understand the funding landscape for farmed animal advocacy in Africa in depth, identifying key actors, patterns, and trends. Notably, we focus on charitable grants and exclude any government funding that might be relevant as well. Our research aims to build transparency and enhance information on what is being done to help animals in Africa, which can help various stakeholders to make better decisions. While we focus on farmed animals, we also provide context on other animal groups. We hope that the findings from our analysis can contribute to funders shifting some of their resources from less neglected and potentially lower-impact projects to more neglected and potentially higher-impact ones.

Data basis

Based on the funding records of 131 funders that we suspected might have funded African animal causes in the past, we created a database of 2,136 records of grants towards animal projects in Africa. This grant data allowed us to base our analysis on real-world data, which provides an important improvement to previous research, which was typically based on self-reported surveys with funders and/or charities.

Findings

Overall funding levels

We estimate at an 80% confidence level that the funders in scope for this analysis granted a total of USD 25 to 35 million to animal-related causes in Africa in 2020. These grants had substantially increased from 2018 to 2020.

Funding for animal causes in Africa shows interesting patterns that contrast, to a certain extent, with trends observed in the animal advocacy movement globally (Animal Charity Evaluators, 2024). Wild animal and conservation efforts receive the most funding. Notably, the projects in this category do not follow the wild animal suffering approach typically discussed in Effective Altruism (EA), but have a more traditional conservationist focus. Working animals are the second most funded animal group, reflecting their significance in Africa. This is a strong contrast to the focus on companion animals in wealthier societies, which only receive a very minor share of funding in Africa. Farmed animals received only 1.7% of the total funding towards helping animals in Africa by the funders in scope in 2020.

Share of funding to different animal groups in Africa in 2020

Based on this share, we expect the funders in scope for this analysis to have granted around USD 0.6 million to farmed animal causes in Africa in 2020, with our 80% subjective confidence interval ranging from USD 0.2 to 1.0 million.

However, we observe a significant increase in funding towards farmed animals in Africa over time, particularly from 2020 onwards.

Total amount granted to farmed animal projects by the funders in scope per year (only including known amounts / not estimating unknowns)

Accounting for these increases, we estimate at 70% confidence that total farmed animal funding for Africa was between USD 1.5 and 3 million in 2022, including unknowns such as funders not included in this analysis and the graph above.

The report also reveals a strong and growing concentration of African farmed animal advocacy funding among a few major EA-aligned funders, underscoring the EA movement's crucial role for the cause. Major funders like Animal Charity Evaluators, Effective Altruism Funds, the ProVeg Grants Program, and The Humane League / Open Wing Alliance have significantly ramped up their contributions in recent years.

Funding in USD to animal causes in Africa by major farmed animal funders per year

Despite these increases, farmed animal advocacy remains underfunded. Farmed Animal Funders (2021) cites figures of USD 91 and 70 million for North America and Europe, as well as USD 15 and 10 million for Asia and Latin America.

A variety of major players in the farmed animal advocacy movement thus call for a stronger focus on neglected regions like Africa. Farmed Animal Funders (2021) reports that “there is a discrepancy between FAF members’ geographic interests and the locations of their actual grantees”. According to Rethink Priorities (2023), in an optimal scenario, key decision-makers in the effective animal advocacy community would allocate 9.1% and 8.1% of total EAA resources respectively to Sub-Saharan Africa as well as North Africa and the Middle East. These shares are much larger than in the actual distribution, as explained above. The key decision-makers also think that “experts on the developing world or specific neglected but populous countries” are the most pressing talent gap in the community. Additionally, Charity Entrepreneurship (2023) writes that they are “concerned that funders may neglect more exploratory work and certain regions (e.g. Africa) due to limited resources”.

Specific funding purposes

The table below shows the largest grants to African farmed animal projects between 2015 and 2022.

FunderRecipient/Partner OrganisationYearAmount USDCountry
A Well-Fed WorldInternational Fund for Africa2020

195,000

 
Open Philanthropy ProjectMount Kenya University2021

167,766

Kenya
Effective Altruism FundsAfrica Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW)2022

105,000

 
Effective Altruism FundsAfrica Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW)2022

100,000

 
Effective Altruism FundsAfrica Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW)2021

96,000

 
A Well-Fed WorldInternational Fund for Africa2016

91,750

 
A Well-Fed WorldInternational Fund for Africa2017

91,000

 
Effective Altruism FundsAnimal Advocacy Africa2021

66,000

South Africa
Compassion in World FarmingAfrica Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW)2021

55,013

Kenya
Animal Charity EvaluatorsAnimal Advocacy Africa2022

50,000

South Africa
Effective Altruism FundsHealthier Hens2022

50,000

Kenya
The Humane LeagueSouthern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)2019

48,000

South Africa
The Humane LeagueAfrica Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW)2022

44,429

Kenya
The Humane LeagueNational Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC)2022

44,429

Malawi
The Humane LeagueAnimal Law Reform South Africa2022

44,429

South Africa
The Humane LeagueCoalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations (CAAWO)2022

44,429

South Africa
The Humane LeagueSouthern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)2022

44,429

South Africa
The Humane LeagueEducation for Africa Animal Welfare (EAAW)2022

44,429

Tanzania
The Humane LeagueMeru Animal Welfare Organization2022

44,429

Tanzania
Effective Altruism FundsOne Health and Development Initiative2022

40,000

Nigeria
Effective Altruism FundsCoalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations (CAAWO)2021

40,000

South Africa
Effective Altruism FundsCredence Institute2020

40,000

South Africa
Effective Altruism FundsSouthern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)2019

40,000

South Africa

Analysing all grants, we find that funding for farmed animals is not clearly focused on one specific type of intervention. In 2020, the majority of funding was directed at plant-based outreach, education, and food provision programmes. Looking at the whole 2015-2022 period, we found that corporate outreach also received a substantial share of farmed animal funding, mostly dominated by cage-free campaigns. To a lesser extent, research and capacity building projects attracted significant shares as well. Political and legislative work received only a smaller share of the funding.

South Africa took the leading role on the continent when it comes to farmed animal work, attracting ~65% of all farmed animal funding in 2020 and more than 30% between 2015 and 2022. This fact could be attributed to the country's more developed and industrialised economy and farming sector. This supports our perspective that most funding for farmed animal causes is aimed at addressing current industrial animal agriculture instead of preventing its emergence, the cause that we are focusing our efforts on (Kortschak, 2023). Kenya also received a substantial share of funding towards farmed animal work in Africa. Apart from these two clear leaders, Benin, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe were further noteworthy recipient countries.

We found 83 organisations that received some funding for farmed animal work in Africa by the funders in scope in 2015-2022. Notably, our own organisation, Animal Advocacy Africa, despite being relatively new and small, has received a significant share of total African farmed animal funding. This highlights the low overall funding levels in this sector.

Top ten organisations in Africa by funding amounts for farmed animal work between 2015 and 2022

We have had interactions with most of the organisations in the top 30 farmed animal grant recipients. Some have been part of our capacity-building programme, others only took part in our pilot programme, while others only engaged with us in other capacity (e.g. for research purposes). We played a role in some organisations securing significant grants in the farmed animal space and suspect that our work at least somewhat contributed to the increase in funding towards farmed animal advocacy in Africa.

Next steps

The findings from this report aim to encourage funders to shift more of their resources to farmed animal work in Africa.

Overall, we hope that this report can help us and other stakeholders to more rapidly and effectively build the farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa. We aim to use and amplify the growing momentum identified in this report and call on any individual or organisations interested in contributing to this cause to contact us and/or increase their resources and focus dedicated towards farmed animal welfare in Africa. 

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:49 AM

Great work. This is illuminating for some of us in Africa ready to get involved in the Advocacy. Thank you.

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