The Reality of Aid Africa Network was founded in 2000. For many years it was hosted by the African Forum and Network for Debt and Development (AFRODAD) as one of its key projects on Aid. It was created out of the Reality of Aid Network - A North/South international non-governmental initiative focusing exclusively on analysis and lobbying for poverty eradication policies and practices in the international aid regime. It main objective was to show case the impact of Aid in Africa through a biannual publication covering various but very topical issues of development. The organization has since grown to among other things, facilitate the African debate on impact of aid in Africa and its exit strategies. It was also the main instrument used by the global facilitative group, Better Aid, that the participation of African CSOs in the Third High Level meeting on aid effectiveness in 2008 took place.

Currently standing independently as a Pan African Network, The Reality of Aid Africa remains one of the main instruments used by global platforms to mobilize and prepare African CSOs towards major aid and development effectiveness forums which include but not limited to Busan. The network is also active in producing relevant country researches to bolster its lobby and advocacy activities as well as working with African CSOs in their countries to establish national structures for implementation of relevant reforms towards both aid and development effectiveness.

ROA Africa also hosts the African secretariat for the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), an open platform that unites CSOs as a result of their engagement in the aid and development effectiveness agenda specifically the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. The platform envisions the realization of democratic ownership, human rights, social justice, equality (especially gender equality) and sustainability. It has the “CSO Key Asks” as its guide in its advocacy and capacity building; and the Istanbul Principles, Siem Reap Consensus, and Cebu Consensus guide its operations.