Over the years it had become obvious that the work of the African Women’s leadership Institute would not be sustainable without funding and that is how Bisi together with other sisters begun to think of AWDF.
AMwA had always wanted to start up a fund. We used to get requests from women’s organisations all over Africa for funds thinking that we were in the UK like Oxfam or Action Aid we would access money. So after a while we thought why not. At the same time while we were thinking of starting the fund two other African sisters had also been thinking of the same thing. Jonna Foster who was the Regional Coordinator for WILDAF and Hilda Tadria, who is a Ugandan who was based at Addis Ababa and working for UN/ECA then.
The three of them decided to team up and start the AWDF. AMwA agreed to host the AWDF as a project to a point where it did stand on its own. In April 2001 the Fund became autonomous and moved out of AMwA to Accra, Ghana. Since then AWDF has awarded grants to 800 women’s organisations to a tune of US$17 million. AWDF has continued to support AMwA and some of the organisations funded have included thoseheaded and or founded by the alumni of the AWLI who went to start their own
In 2001, two other women who had been thinking about an African Women’s Fund and had actually written a funding proposal, joined forces with AMwA and the African Women’s Development Fund was born. The fund has created transformation in the discourse on what is funded, by whom, where, when and how much.