Engage men as non-violent, caring fathers, and see community-wide benefits in health outcomes, gender equality, and quality of life. Put fatherhood on the agenda in your community.
We research and report on fatherhood across Africa. If you are working on fatherhood in any way, e.g parenting, support groups, work with fathers, research, policy and advocacy let us know! Contact us!
Help fathers-to-be learn tangible skills: how to change, wash, dress and hold their babies, as well as intangible ones that give men the confidence to be involved in caregiving and childrearing at home.
They are less prone to depression. They have better social skills. And they are more likely to become good parents themselves. Responsible fathering means establishing paternity, being present in the child’s life (even if divorced or unmarried), sharing economic support, and being personally involved in the child’s life in collaboration with the mother.
Surprisingly, there is no continent-wide strategic intervention around fatherhood in Africa. Many policies and practices create a highly complex and difficult terrain for responsible fatherhood. The question is no longer whether we have a fatherhood problem but what, if anything, we are prepared to do about the problem. If we want to ensure the best outcomes for their children, they will help men learn to be better fathers.
The Africa Fatherhood Initiative aims to be a continent-wide institutional base for the generation, collection, and dissemination of knowledge and skills about responsible and involved fatherhood across all races and faiths in Africa. We run a website, conduct social marketing, generate publication templates, conduct workshops, and provide support for the formation of in-country chapters of Africa Fatherhood Initiative who can carry out on-the-ground action and campaigning.
Africa Fatherhood Initiative research, practice, and policy activities have been developed around the first-hand experiences of practitioners serving fathers, mothers, children, and families.
Our framework provides a lens through which policymakers might learn more about the implications and impact of legislation and policy decisions on the lives of large numbers of Africa’s fathers, mothers, children, and families. They also capture salient issues experienced and felt deeply by many fathers and families, those who are financially secure as well as those who are the most vulnerable to poverty and hardship.
The Africa Fatherhood Initiative strategy includes emphasising positive aspects of fatherhood and encouraging men to enter the domain of care for children in contrast to only focusing on highly visible cases of abuse and neglect. This includes highlighting the benefits of father involvement with children for men themselves, particularly “in reducing harmful behaviour towards the self and others as a result of a longer-term perspective created by commitment to one or more children.”
The Africa Fatherhood Initiative is centred around a web-based resource for networking, information sharing, and raising awareness around issues of fatherhood in Africa. The website contains practical information for fathers at various stages of fatherhood, as well as information related to policy, research, and social frameworks that focus on or relate to the importance of fathers. It intends to identify gaps in knowledge and provides links to studies and papers that have been done on fathers in Africa.
The Africa Fatherhood Initiative uses other web-based social networking and marketing tools to extend it’s reach. It currently has a Facebook group that allows fathers to network, post photos and videos, post events, comments, articles, and links related to fathering. a You Tube video channel where visitors can watch or post their own videos, make comments, and add links.
The Africa Fatherhood Initiative has an advocacy arm that raises awareness around issues of fathering, and develops partnerships, networks, and media coverage to gain exposure for the topic of fatherhood at national and continental mass media levels. Our campaigns include encouraging fathers to register themselves on their children’s birth certificates and pushing for maternity services to engage more effectively with fathers.
The Africa Fatherhood Initiative provides support for the formation of other chapters of African Fathers across the continent.