It is estimated that $7 billion are given away every year by Africa’s philanthropists. They are businessmen, football players, artists but also some of the most generous philanthropists in Africa. These individuals are all admired on the continent because they use their money, power, and celebrity status for good.
1. JIM OVIA – NIGERIA
Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank, which is one of the largest commercial banks in the country. He donated around $6.4 million to the Nigerian flood relief in 2012. The Youth Empowerment and ICT Foundation, also known as the Jim Ovia Foundation, aims to invest in the Nigerian youth and to promote information and communications technology education.
2. DIDIER DROGBA – IVORY COAST
The Didier Drogba Foundation was created by the famous footballer in 2007. The foundation works to improve health care and education for Ivorian people and the most vulnerable African populations. It provides both financial and material support by implementing projects, working with organizations, and raising funds.
3. TONY ELUMELU – NIGERIA
Elumelu is an economist and an entrepreneur. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings – an African investment company – and Transcorp. Forbes named him one of Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012. In 2010, he founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation. He said the objective of the foundation is to:
“prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development.”
The foundation’s mission focuses on three areas: empowerment of African entrepreneurs, promotion of leadership, and the creation of an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem.
4. AKON – SENEGAL
Rapper Akon launched the project Akon Lighting Africa in 2014. He recognized that many Africans are living with unreliable or completely without electricity; this severely hinders infrastructure and economic growth. His initiative plans to bring power to millions of people in Africa. So far, the project is operating in 15 countries and has created 100,000 solar street lamps, 1,200 solar micro-grids, 102,000 solar domestic kits, and indirectly created 5,500 jobs.
5. THEOPHILUS DANJUMA – NIGERIA
Danjuma is the chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum. In 2008, he donated $100 million to help create the TY Danjuma Foundation. The organization aims to bring affordable and quality health care, education and equal opportunities to Nigerians. It helps alleviate extreme poverty by providing free medical services to rural communities, clean drinking water, and encouraging the education and empowerment of women.
6. STRIVE MASIYIWA – ZIMBABWE
Masiyiwa is considered one of the most generous philanthropists from Africa. Not only that, but he is regarded as one of the most influential businessmen in the world. He has used his family wealth to support and educate over 40,000 orphans in the continent. He has also provided scholarships to more than 100,000 Africans. In addition to his education initiatives, he supports several health campaigns dealing with HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, malnutrition, and ebola.
7. ALIKO DANGOTE – NIGERIA
According to Forbes, Dangote is the richest man in Africa. He is the president of the Dangote Group, which has a charitable foundation that distributes resources to support health, education, empowerment, and humanitarian services to victims of natural disasters. The foundation donated $2.6 million during the 2012 Nigerian flood and gives to hospitals, universities, and community centers. According to the Nigerian government, Dangote also donated $75 million to halt the spread of ebola.
8. ARTHUR EZE – NIGERIA
This businessman and oil tycoon is reportedly one of the richest men in Africa. He is also known to be one of the most generous. In 2013, he donated $12 million to fund an Anglican Church Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State. He also donated about $6.4 million during the 2012 flood. Plus, he frequently donates to institutions of higher education.
9. MO IBRAHIM – SUDAN
Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim is also called the “Bill Gates of Africa”. He is renowned for his philanthropic work in the continent. He has signed the “Giving Pledge”, committing to give away more than half his wealth. According to Forbes magazine, he is worth $1.07 billion.
10. ALLAN GRAY – SOUTH AFRICA
Through his foundation, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the South African investor donated $150 million to South African high school students.