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United States African Development Foundation

1400 I Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005



CHAIRJohn W. Leslie, Jr.
Vice ChairJohn O. Agwunobi

MembersWard Brehm
Morgan M. Davis
Iqbal Paroo


Chief of Staff / Director of External AffairsBrandi James

ProgramElisabeth Feleke
StrategyKwasi Donkor

General CounselMateo Dunne
Managing Director of Finance and AdministrationMathieu Zahui

The above list of key personnel was updated 02–2022.

The above list of key personnel was updated 02–2022.

The United States African Development Foundation provides seed capital and technical assistance to support African-led development that grows community enterprises.


On December 16, 1980, President James E. Carter approved Public Law 96–533, which contains the "African Development Foundation Act" (94 Stat. 3151). The Act established the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) as a Government corporation with its principal office in the United States and with branch offices, as necessity requires for carrying out its functions, in Africa (94 Stat. 3152, 3153).

"To enable the people of African countries to develop their potential, fulfill their aspirations, and enjoy better, more productive lives," the Act described the purposes of the USADF as fourfold: strengthening friendly bonds between Africans and Americans, supporting local self-help activities that enlarge community development opportunities, promoting effective and expansive African participation in their development process, and promoting development institutions that are indigenous to particular African countries and responsive to the requirements of those countries' poor people (94 Stat. 3152).

The management responsibilities of the USADF are vested in seven members who constitute its Board of Directors. The President appoints each of the members by the advice and with the consent of the Senate. The President designates one board member to serve as its Chairperson and another one of the seven to serve as its Vice Chairperson. The President makes his or her appointment based on the appointee's "understanding of and sensitivity to community level development processes." Five of the board members are "appointed from private life"; the two other members are "appointed from among officers and employees of agencies of the United States concerned with African affairs." A member is appointed for a term of 6 years (94 Stat. 3154).

The USADF's statement of organization has been assigned to part 1501 of 22 CFR.


Codified statutory material affecting the USADF has been assigned to the seventh chapter of 22 U.S.C. See "Subchapter XXIII—United States African Development Foundation."

Codified rules and regulations associated with the USADF have been assigned to the 15th chapter of 22 CFR. See "Chapter XV—African Development Foundation" (parts 1500–1599).


The USADF invests in African grassroots organizations, entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises. The agency's investments promote local economic development by creating jobs, raising incomes, and increasing revenues. These investments also help to empower marginalized populations and underserved communities to leave behind economic insecurity and to reach for stability and prosperity.

Sources of Information

Agriculture / Food Security

Agriculture and food security constitute one of the USADF's key programmatic areas for its transformative programs.

Archived Records

The records of the "African Development Foundation" are referenced in the "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States." The guide is accessible online, and USADF records have been assigned to Record Group 487. This record group currently does not have a description because no transfer of archival records had been made before the time of the guide's last update.

Career Opportunities

The USADF posts career opportunities on its website.

Contact Information

The "Contact Us" web page has an electronic form for sending a message. Postal correspondence may be sent to the USADF, 1400 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. Phone, 202-233-8800. | Email:

Country Portfolios

The Foundation has 21 country programs and special initiatives that have extended its reach to a total of 40 African countries.

Development Model

The USADF uses a community-led development approach and a pan-African network of local implementing partners to support African-designed and African-delivered solutions.

Entrepreneurship / Job Creation

Employment through job training and placement and entrepreneurship grants for women and youth constitute one of the USADF's key programmatic areas for its transformative programs.


The USADF posts information on its events.

Federal Register

Recent documents that the USADF published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Information on USADF FOIA policies can be obtained from the agency by using the "Contact Us" web page or by sending an email. | Email:

Annual and quarterly FOIA reports are posted on the "Legal Notices and Reports" web page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The USADF posts answers to FAQs on its website.


Information on grants is available online. An applicant may download an application in English or French. Once completed, the application may be submitted by email or postal mail.


The "Celebrating 40 Years" web page has an annotated timeline that highlights the notable achievements of the past 40 years.

In the News

For news items, see the "USADF in the News" web page.

Open Government

The USADF supports the Open Government initiative by promoting collaboration, participation, and transparency.


The USADF partners with African governments, corporations, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as with other agencies of the U.S. Government and their initiatives.

Renewable Energy / Energy Access Off the Grid

Off-grid renewable energy access is one of the USADF's key programmatic areas for its transformative programs.


The USADF posted its "Impact Report 2015–2019." The report describes USADF's work and the effects of that work.


The USADF posts its congressional budget justifications and operating plans. The "Resources" web page also has bar and pie graphs: annual revenues, annual expenditures, and a 5-year revenue source profile.

Social Media

The USADF has a Facebook account.

The Foundation tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The USADF posts videos on its YouTube channel.


The USADF maintains a large collection of videos on its website. The topics of those videos range from onion farming to transforming the lives of former child soldiers.