Foundations started by George Soros around the world are shuttering offices as they prepare to cut more than 40 per cent of its staff.
Employees of the Open Society Foundations’ Africa operations received correspondence last week detailing the next steps of the process, which includes closing half a dozen offices in Africa, in addition to Baltimore and Barcelona, according to emails seen by Bloomberg.
“With the decision by the board in June to cut the staff by more than 40 per cent, our staffing size and footprint by necessity needs to diminish,” said Binaifer Nowrojee, OSF’s vice president of programs, in one of the emails.
The charity doles out more than $1 billion in grants annually, including over $100 million in Africa.
“I’m very sorry that it’s turned out this way,” Wanyeki wrote to staff in an email seen by Bloomberg.“It’s obviously not what any of us expected and I’m also very sorry that I didn't have information on this earlier," she added.
The Barcelona and Baltimore closures were announced earlier this year and the Africa offices "have been in varying stages of transition to close or merge into one regional entity" since 2021, an OSF spokesperson said in an email. Many of the satellite offices are set to close by the end of 2023, the spokesperson added.
The emails to staff come after Inside Philanthropy reported in July that OSF had removed more than a dozen offices across Africa and Asia from a list on its website.