Africa is a continent which is developing and looking towards a bright future. One reason for this is the emergence of powerful philanthropists in recent years. The idea of philanthropy in Africa is not a new one, as giving and reciprocity are very highly valued in African culture for centuries. But today the power of philanthropy is growing, as successful philanthropists are able to provide support for many organizations promoting positive change in Africa. The entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Africa have the ability to boost the country’s socio-economic status (through projects like drone delivery thanks to their capacious mobile telephony networks), and promote far better health care and well being for the people who live there. Here are five philanthropists who are really working towards making a difference in Africa:
Francois van Niekerk
This South African is the founder of the Mertech Group, a very powerful and successful South African company. He gave away 70% of his equity last year in his company to a foundation called the Mergon Foundation. This is an organization which he himself founded. The Mergon Foundation was created to fund education and community-based projects for children, as well as funding projects for HIV/AIDS patients and programs aimed to promote the awareness of recycling and environmental education.
This is one philanthropist that you won’t see making speeches at large events, because he is quite an introvert. But he has made major waves with his giving and has had quite an impact on Africa through his work as a philanthropist. He created the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation by investing $150 of his hard-earned money. This foundation offers full scholarships to high school students who can’t afford an education. It covers tuition and accommodations for students who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
The former minister of Nigeria, Theophilus Danjuma set up the T.Y. Danjuma Foundation which is a philanthropic organization in Nigeria which makes grants to nongovernment organizations. Many of these organizations are dedicated to improving the conditions of education, healthcare, social welfare and alleviating poverty in Nigeria. Through his organization, Danjuma indirectly helps thousands of people live their purpose and fulfill their philanthropic dreams.
The Donald Gordon Foundation was created by this South African billionaire, who’s committed to improving the quality of health care in Africa. He funded the Donald Gordon Teaching Medical Center, a space to train medical professionals. He has also made donations in the amount of millions, to organizations like the Royal Opera House, so he is very interested in improving the arts as well.
Shuttleworth sold his company Thawthe in 2002, for $575 million and then he dedicated himself to philanthropic projects. In the following years, Shuttleworth has developed and distributed Ubuntu, and has dedicated over $20 million to his foundation, the Shuttleworth Foundation. This organization gives funding to people who are working on social change projects. The idea behind the Shuttleworth Foundation is to identify amazing, ambitious people who are ready and willing to make a change in the world, and then to fund their dreams so they can become reality.