African Philanthropy Forum Promotes Homegrown Giving

A super-group of African philanthropists from across the continent are coming together to support each other's charitable efforts.

Posted: 04/24/2013 10:29 AM EDT
 Angelique Kidjo

Singer Angelique Kidjo is a leader of the Africa Philanthropy Forum. (Photo:  Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

It’s been routinely said that African countries benefit most from African solutions to their problems. Now, a collective of African philanthropists are putting that maxim into action by coming together and sharing what works best in the business of giving.

Forbes
magazine reports:

“The leadership of the new group includes active philanthropists from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Benin. They include Nigerian entrepreneur Tony Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; James Mwangi, CEO of Kenya’s Equity Bank and chairman of the Equity Foundation; Tsitsi Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, who heads the Higher Life Foundation; Toyin Saraki of Nigeria, who founded the Wellbeing Africa Foundation; singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo of Benin, UNICEF Goodwill ambassador and founder of the Batonga Foundation; Hylton Applebaum, managing director of the Donald Gordon Foundation of South Africa, and Manu Chandaria of Kenya, founder of the Chandaria Foundation. Reeta Roy, CEO of the MasterCard Foundation is also joining the group of leaders.

At the Global Philanthropy Forum conference earlier this week, several of these philanthropists shared their stories of how they got started. As the wife of a governor of a state in Nigeria, Toyin Saraki was dismayed at how many “condolence calls” she was asked to make were to women who had died in childbirth. So she started the Wellbeing Foundation to help improve maternal, newborn and child health. James Mwangi founded Equity Bank and focused on providing banking services to the poor – a sector that other banks had ignored; the bank, now publicly traded, has grown to be one of Kenya’s five largest banks and the largest microfinance provider in East and Central Africa. His Equity Foundation partners with the bank on programs aimed at improving the socioeconomic status of low-income people.

After a five-year legal struggle by her husband, Strive Masiyiwa, to win the rights to launch a mobile phone network in Zimbabwe, Tsitsi Masiyiwa started the Higher Life Foundation to help some of Zimbabwe’s 1.2 million orphans, most of whom lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. Its Capernaum Trust arm has helped 40,000 orphans with school fees, life skills training and medical assistance.”

Read the full story here.

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