Africa’s premier incorporated institution for Nonprofit leadership and Management dedicated to philanthropy, capacity building and best practice was launched in Lagos recently.
The event which started with a Charity Walk in Ikeja on Saturday 3rd September and a Giving Sunday Special on the 4th, culminated into the grand finale held at the legendary Lagos Airport Hotel in Ikeja with numerous Nonprofit Charity organizations represented.
At the inaugural lecture, the founder, National Association of Non-profit Organizations and Executives (NANOE) USA, Patron and Co-organizer of Africa Institute for Charity (AIC), Dr. Jimmy LaRose, stressed the importance of Nonprofit management education for leaders and practitioners alike, as the vantage gateway to the third sector’s service delivery and access to resources for charitable works.
Speaking on the theme of the event: ‘Give…. Give Account for Impact’ Dr. LaRose who doubles as President of National Development Institute (NDI), United States maintained the proper accountability remains the key to sound Nonprofit Charity management.
He charged nonprofit organizations and practitioners to take advantage of opportunities the establishment of Africa Institute for Charity (AIC) offer by enrolling with institute for international trainings and certifications.
Jimmy LaRose, who spoke via zoom video link to his live audience in Lagos and around the world, acknowledged the resilience of the founder and President of Africa Institute for Charity, John E. Thompson, who he said is a ‘NANOE member in good standing and the first international outreach’ in Africa certified as NANOE’s Best Practice Charity Medallion Holder.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the founder, Africa Institute for Charity (AIC), John E. Thompson, furnished his distinguished guests with the propelling factors that ignited the establishment of the Institute. With a clear vision of seeing an ‘Africa United in Charity, Thompson, who is also media practitioner, said that lack of verifiable data on the impact of the third sector and dearth of professionalism in the management of nonprofit resources prompted the journey to have an institution with the ‘commitment to refine, improve, strengthen and promote governing guidelines of nonprofit capacity building in Nigeria and Africa generally’.
In his key note speech, the Chairman Board of Trustees, Africa Institute for Charity, Dr.Theophilus Taiwo Ajose, commended the Nonprofit executives present at the occasion for the great work they are doing in the society, which he said is a ‘thankless’ job.
He urge them to embrace the courses embedded in Africa Institute for Charity to enhance their service delivery mechanisms as well as access to funding through proper nonprofit capacity building and certifications.
In her remark, the guest speaker and President, Africa Women Lawyers Association(AWLA) (Nigeria) Barr.Mrs Efe Etomi represented by Lagos Coordinator of the organization Barr. Mulikat Thomas, underscored the essence of International Day for Charity as an event set aside by the United Nations to commemorate the life and death of the World’s greatest Charity worker- Mother Theresa, who passed away on September 5, 1997.
The AWLA president, identified women as ‘greatest givers to Charity’ as consistently proven by statistics internationally.
She also used to the opportunity to enumerate several nonprofit services their Association are rendering ‘pro Bono’ to disadvantaged women and children which form the fulcrum of the society.
Another United States Nonprofit guest lecturer and President of Troy City, Ohio state, William Lutz, advised nonprofit practitioners in his paper, to always ‘ keep a cheerful heart’ to attract funding. He said, “no one wants to donate to a cause, as good as it might be, that is resentful and frustrated. We must treasure every donation, no matter how small, as valuable and work to put it to good use for those we are serving”.
On his part, AIC Head, School of Nonprofit Ethics, Compliance and Legal Administration, Barr. Chris Owuamanam charged Nonprofit Charity practitioners on ethics and compliance. He called on nonprofit organization board members and executives to clearly understand the provisions of law in Part F, Chapter 3 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 2020, as well as the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act as established, to guide them in running Not-for- organizations.
In the same vein, a renowned forensic auditor and chartered accountant, Ogbonna Uzodinma, who is Director of Centre for Accountability, Integrity and Relationship, Africa Institute for Charity, reteirated the need for probity and transparency in the account books of nonprofit organizations.
He urged practitioners to enroll with institute for proper education on Nonprofit accounting system and tax complexities as it affects non profit Charity organizations which are requirements to attract funding for humanitarian services.
In his reaction, the National President, Association of Orphanages and Homes Operators in Nigeria, Rev. Dr. Gabriel Oyediji, lamented the exclusion of nonprofit stakeholders in formulating policies and laws that directly impact on services they render to the society.
Dr. Oyediji further stated that lack of incentives and over-regulations are major factors hindering the visible impact of what the third sector is doing in Nigeria and said the establishment of Africa Institute for Charity is welcome development.
In her comment earlier, Bar. Mrs. Victoria Obong, observed that the emergence of Africa Institute for Charity is at an impeccable time, which will transformation the landscape of nonprofit practice in Africa and urged the Institute to maintain high standard of professionalism to engender dignity of charity and social enterprise workers in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Similarly, another nonprofit executive, Mrs Kehinde Olayinka, National Coordinator of Princess Deborah Foundation, asked Africa Institute for Charity (AIC) to use her working relationship with NANOE, USA to secure international funding for charitable projects in Nigeria.
The event also witnessed, the unveiling of Africa Charity Watch Magazine, published by the AIC for Scale, Sustainability and Impact.
The climax of the occasion was the investiture of honorary doctoral fellowship of the Institute and induction of pioneer members, who have distinguished themselves in philanthropic givings and management.