Founded in 2000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller foundations, the partnership, which is headquartered at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education, awards grants in three ways: Each member foundation funds higher education projects in Africa according to its priorities, while contributing $200,000 annually for core partnership activities such as conferences and grant evaluations; member foundations also pool their resources to fund cooperative initiatives.
From 2000 to 2005, member foundations contributed more than $150 million to build core capacity and support special initiatives at universities in Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. In the fall of 2005, the William and Flora Hewlett and Andrew W. Mellon foundations joined the partnership, and, together, the six foundations pledged a minimum of $200 million through 2010. Last year, Kenya, Egypt, and Madagascar became partnership countries.
Kresge president and CEO Rip Rapson said joining the partnership expands the foundation's current commitment to build the private fundraising capacity of South African universities and hospitals over the next several years. "Because the partnership connects all of the major U.S. foundations that regularly fund African universities," said Rapson, "joining it offers Kresge the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from peer foundations to help strengthen higher education on the continent."