African Artists for Development

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Created in 2009 by Gervanne and Matthias Leridon, in order to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the African Artists for Development (AAD) endowment fund is a philanthropic NGO who supports development projects in Africa, associated with creations of contemporary African artists. This original approach has earned AAD recognition as an observer status of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six principal branchs of the United Nations.

AAD was created after a deep belief : the involvement of contemporary African artists alongside development project teams in Africa is one of the best levers of efficiency and success to build a sustainable future that creates meaning for the continent.


Since 2009 and through its various projects, AAD has directly affected more than 4 million children, women and men in Africa.

• In the camps of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Chad, the Central African Republic, Burundi, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the refugee populations who participated in the Refugees on the Move programme that uses contemporary dance as a tool for psychological recovery and social and cultural mediation within the camps.

• In townships of South Africa, for disadvantaged students who are integrated into the Township Orchestra, a programme that uses music as a vehicle for students’ success and reintegration for their families.

• In Cotonou, Benin, for pupils who daily attend the first Belle Bibliothèque Melchior Leridon, and in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for pupils of the Saint-Marie college, who enjoy the brand new school library, la Belle Bibliothèque Yagma, built by AAD.

• In Abidjan and Bangolo in Côte d’Ivoire, where AAD has built two school libraries in partnership with the Magic System Foundation. The program Magic Bibliothèque aims to build 5 school libraries in Côte d’Ivoire from 2017 to 2022.

• In the Democratic Republic of Congo, in prevention, support, reception and accommodation in charge of AIDS patients including the free distribution to 250,000 copies of the comic book Diamants de Kamituga, a tool to raise awareness and that has improved of more than 40% the HIV testing rates in South Kivu province.

• In Cape Town, South Africa, where thousands of people have seen the exhibition GrowBox Art Project inside the Zeitz MOCAA, the first project of the AAD-Incubator, which aims to develop and accelerate small community businesses with high social impact.