WWF began its work in Africa in the 60s with a campaign to save Africa’s rhinos. The work accomplished in Africa since then has covered different aspects of conservation including: conservation of endangered species and contribution to the improvement of the welfare of communities through better management of Africa’s natural resources. Africa plays a key role in conserving some of the priority species and places identified in WWF’s global programme framework.

Much has changed in Africa since WWF started its work on the continent. Economic trends, population dynamics, infrastructural development, technological advances, increased civic consciousness, changed political regimes and outlooks, increased natural resource extraction and the introduction of new trading patterns and  partners  are just a few of the changes that have been witnessed on the continent over the past few decades. The context in which WWF in Africa finds itself now is very different from that experienced in 1963.

To tackle these new challenges WWF in Africa came up with the Africa Vision 2020 whose aim is “To be an influential and respected conservation organization in Africa that models sustainable relationships between humans and nature”. The aim is to harness the networks power in mobilizing people, knowledge, financing, and partnerships to achieve this vision.  

The achievement of the vision for WWF in Africa 2020 will be supported by the following five strategic pillars.

Effective and Impact Driven Conservation

The goal of this pillar is to enhance WWF’s conservation model in Africa in order to more effectively and sustainably achieve the goals set for WWF’s global priority places and species in Africa. WWF in Africa will seek to do this in a way that is relevant to African constituencies and that addresses the global drivers of biodiversity loss.  By 2020 our conservation strategy and approach will reflect: a shift from projects to programs lasting 3 - 5 years; programs that are scalable and that are responsive to people and national and regional development aspirations; and emphasis on policy influencing and strategic collaboration with partners.

WWF in Africa aims to be the agenda setter on three thematic areas that are of growing importance in Africa namely: conservation and sustainable development, green growth, and sustainable and renewable energy. Centres of excellence on these three themes will be established and will serve stakeholders on the continent, the WWF network and the broader international community.

Maximise Africa’s Impact on Global Priorities

This pillar seeks to increase the engagement, visibility and relevance of WWF in Africa to key audiences in Africa and Globally. By 2020 WWF aims to have increased its visibility and become an authoritative voice in the region with regard to conservation and sustainable development. Through the engagement of high level decision makers and facilitation of critical policy discourses, WWF seeks to become an important partner and thought leader in the region and globally. WWF will work to heighten conservation consciousness among the African populace and particularly among the youth through innovative initiatives, ICT and media.

Effective African Ownership and Leadership

The goal of this pillar is to attract, develop and retain African leaders who can lead offices and influence decision making bodies at all levels, while concomitantly providing African perspectives related to network decision-making processes. Concerted efforts will be made to create an enabling environment for innovative leaders which allows for career progression and effective talent management programs and schemes within the organization. By 2020, we will develop a leadership and talent management program, standardized performance management systems, and improved compensation and benefits packages. Further we will develop a governance model that enables the attraction of influential Africans to sit on Advisory Boards at country and Pan Africa level.

Strong Africa Offices

The goal of this pillar is to transition African offices to well-resourced offices that are able to ensure strong financial stewardship and accountability, while determining and executing decisions that collectively address the conservation challenges of Africa. A Pan African Office set up by January 2014 will oversee transformation of at least two Country Offices to National Organisation (NO) status by 2020 and the strengthening of all country offices with regard to resources, capacity and financial stewardship.

Sustainable Financing

This pillar aims to increase the level of flexible and long term funding to conservation programmes in Africa and further seeks to develop capacity to effectively raise funds locally. By 2020, Programs in Africa will have increased funding from bilateral and multilateral donors, developed local fund raising capacity and negotiated flexible and longer term funding from National Organisations.

WWF UK and WWF Germany are working with WWF CARPO on a 2 year EU-funded campaign (2010-2011) to raise awareness among EU consumers of the links between their consumption of timber products and the effects on communities and forests in the Congo Basin region.
Core Values

© © Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF

While pursuing our vision, WWF in Africa and its staff shall continue to uphold the following core values that reflect our full adherence to WWF’s global impact and the desire to think and act as good citizens of a truly global WWF.

  1. Commitment: WWF in Africa shall show commitment, determination and excellence in making transformational change whilst employing diplomacy wherever necessary to achieve our goals.
  2. Accountability:  WWF in Africa shall be fully accountable for her actions and decisions and will demonstrate integrity.
  3. Trust: WWF’s work in Africa will be based on mutual trust and will engender the trust of others.
  4. Empowerment: WWF in Africa shall empower staff to take initiative, acting in the interests of conservation in Africa, and to be free to innovate.
  5. Respect for Diversity: WWF in Africa will respect the diversity of the continent and actively seek to ensure relevance of programmes to the African context while incorporating the views, opinions of stakeholders in the organization.