All For Africa Promo Video from allforafrica on Vimeo.

Just got word that on Thursday, the 24 of September from 7 – 11 pm, L’Altruist in New York is having a trés chic benefit event for All For Africa. If you are in the area next Thursday and already booked, do yourself a favor and cancel your plans and head straight to Cain Luxe. The event gala kicks off at 7pm with a dance performance, and music by DJ Moma and friends.

The highlight of the evening is not the hors d’oeuvres, or the music or the dancing, but the opportunity to support a great cause. All For Africa’s mission is attacking poverty in Africa through their Palm Out Poverty initiative:

The Palm Out Poverty (POP) campaign is groundbreaking in its simplicity but even more so in its’ sustainability. The plan is straightforward: to plant one million oil palm trees on approximately 17,000 acres of land in West  Africa.  Once mature, these trees will yield approximately 300,000 barrels of crude palm oil each year for the next 30 years.

Book your $20 ticket through Eventbrite or pay $30 at the door. If you are unable to attend you can still buy a tree to support the cause.

Personally, I’d like to see the resulting fund support more entrepreneurship ventures instead of more NGOs, but don’t let my sentiments temper your giving spirit. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I see this as yet another example of Western do-good organizations failing to see the big picture. Even when All For Africa is thinking of the long term big picture, it seemingly can’t see the forest for the proverbial palm tree. Wouldn’t these trees serve a larger impact if the trusts invested in African SMEs, startups, socially impact-full businesses, visionary entrepreneurs and community empowerment projects instead of providing yet another avenue for NGOs to continue to exist? I realize that there’s a place for the existence of NGOs, but at what point is Africa going to be empowered to stand on its own? NGOs don’t create wealth. NGOs, (in Africa) for the most part don’t employ Africans to their top posts, that’s the throne reserved for Western academicians.

Palm Out Poverty is essentially pledging to provide a 30-year lifeline to the same failed aid strategy of the last 30 years. Now that’s some great foresight. And, I am failing to understand why William H. Clinton didn’t address that minor detail in support of this initiative. It seems to me that the only “businessy” arrangement here is the sustainability of POP over the next 3 decades. Then again I could be wrong. Anyone else see what’s wrong with this picture?

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