Building Open Society in West Africa

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa is a grant-making and advocacy foundation that works to support the creation of open societies in West Africa. Our headquarters is in Dakar, but we also have offices in Abuja, Monrovia, Freetown, and Conakry.

We are looking for innovative strategies to address the political, legal, and socioeconomic impediments that block open society from taking root in West Africa. We encourage unorthodox ideas—including those which feature technology and the arts—to address these challenges.

Eligibility Criteria

The foundation primarily awards grants to local organizations based in West Africa. In rare and limited circumstances, the foundation provides support to West Africa–based international organizations with a strong commitment to transferring knowledge to local groups they partner with. Our grants also go to government institutions as well as regional and sub-regional organizations working in our core priority areas. The foundation requires all organizations seeking funding to be legally incorporated in their countries of intervention.  


Interested organizations must submit a completed application proposal, budget, and other relevant documents—including governance and leadership information (list of board members, trustees and management staff who will be involved in the project, and proof of registration). Applications that are not submitted with all the relevant documentation may be delayed.

Proposals should be sent preferably online via the online submission form or to [email protected]. Proposals will be accepted until April 30, 2019. The foundation encourages early submission of proposals and submitted proposals will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Proposals received after the due date will not be considered.

In order to assess diversity and inclusion in our grant making, kindly indicate in the application if the proposal is focused on women, youth, or persons living with disability.

The time required to review a proposal varies according to the complexity of the proposal (the foundation receives close to a thousand applications a year). It can take three to six months from the time a proposal is received to the date a final decision is made. If you do not hear from us within the timeline outlined above, please assume your application has been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback on your application. For more information and full documentation please consult