UBS and the pan-African foundation TrustAfrica launched the first pan-African report on philanthropy in Africa by wealthy Africans on 3 November 2014. Entitled "Africa's Wealthy Give Back", the report is based on interviews with and survey responses from almost 100 wealthy Africans and experts from the regions of Southern, Western and Eastern Africa, with a particular focus on Kenya,
Nigeria, and South Africa. It provides a clear perspective on how philanthropy is contributing to African development and examines where more can be done.
The report shows that philanthropy is an inherent characteristic of African life, where giving to extended family or supporting a community member is seen as a matter of course. The research also shows that informal giving plays as important a role as formal giving and that it is embedded in beliefs and cultural practices. According to the study, African philanthropists have a unique connection to the causes they support.
Their personal history or the challenges they see around them are decisive in determining the causes they support and shape their philanthropic activities. Education and health attract the most support from wealthy Africans, with a significant proportion of giving also going to issues and groups beyond their community, ethnicity or religion but typically not outside their country.
Africans are personally involved in their philanthropic activities, whether in the selection of projects, the management of their foundations, or through their involvement on the boards of organizations. However, they tend to prefer a degree of anonymity when giving, making visibility on the sector as well as the sharing of best practice within networks difficult.
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