Aliko Dangote Champions African Philanthropic Gestures
Home-Grown Solutions to Local Needs
By Cynthia Okere
Before now, giving back to the society is one thing that is, on the formal scale, not very common in Africa. Philantrophic gestures have more or less been limited to the family and immediate vicinity scope but if Africa is really to progress, then lots have to be done in this area.
It is argued that the emphasis on formal philanthropic institutions “is far from what philanthropy in Africa actually is—where giving emerges across socioeconomic classes; through individual and communal channels (formal and informal), often not involving money”. In explaining Africa’s peculiar climate of philanthropy at a UN discussion round table, Ms. Moloi-Motsepe gave the example of ubuntu, a South African concept meaning “I am because you are: my success is intricately linked to yours.” The ubuntu concept is a family value that encourages giving back to society, she said. Africans have a culture of giving and mutual support even if only a few formal charitable organizations exist, declared Toyin Saraki, founder and president of Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a charity devoted mainly to children’s and women’s affairs.
Many have argued that, Nigeria, for example have more than 100 registered private jet owners, and that if these private jet owners can contribute a little to the less priviledged in the society, a lot could be done to alleviate the poverty in the land. Other opinions say that large corporations operating on the African continent should be made to genuinely contribute to the betterment of the society, giving back to the society without looking for returns. Philanthropy should be giving without expecting anything in return, giving to those who have nothing to give back and that is what Africa needs at this moment. With wars, internal strives, diseases and lots of environmental challenges staring the continent and her people, its high time the wealthy arose to take the mantle of selfless giving and take Africa to the next level.
Against this background then, it is heartwarming to note that of late, Africa’s success is being built by a diverse spectrum of (mostly African) entrepreneurs, philanthropists, artists, students, leaders, civil servants, doctors, nurses, and teachers. Lots of African billionaires are now seeing reason to invest back into the society that actually made them, thus making motherland Africa a beautiful place for all to live. Recent reports claim that an estimated US$7 billion is given away every year by Africa’s philanthropists – at least the ones we know about. These are the men (sadly no women yet on this list) providing home-grown solutions to local needs.
In recognition of their various efforts, GENESIS INTERNATIONAL highlights and celebrates these African icons encouraging them to do more and inviting others to join in this humanitarian crusade!
Ashish J. Thakkar, Uganda
Manu Chandaria, Kenya
Naushad Merali, Kenya
Mike Adenuga, Nigeria
Prince Arthur Eze, Nigeria
Tony Elumelu, Nigeria
Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwe
Jim Ovia, Nigeria
Francois van Niekerk, South Africa
Allan Gray, South Africa
Donald Gordon, South Africa
Mark Shuttleworth, South Africa
Theophilus Danjuma, Nigeria
For Details Get your copy of GENESIS INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE Issue 8
Available of Jumia.com.ng and Konga.com