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Concepts and Framework for Teaching, Research and Outreach of African Philanthropy

April 30, 2016

A paper with concise texts and extensive footnotes is not amenable to an integrating condensation or précis as an Executive Summary. Therefore, to assist readers with little time, this page offers a synopsis of key areas of substance and their sectional location allowing more directed access for those with specific interests.The pages which follow establish the scholarly foundation of new academic chair with practical intentions that a business school is meant to provide. The Chair is devoted to a topic – African Philanthropy, not philanthropy in Africa - which is seriously under-researched, poorly or prejudicially understood as 'traditional' and anti-modern as well as developmentally under-appreciated. These conditions are overlain with external vocabularies and meanings which are not adequately emanating from the continent's history and lived experience of deeply rooted pro-social behaviour of giving or 'gifting'. Hence, missing in today's discourse is a deep understanding of African Philanthropy in its own right with what it can tell us about better ways to tackle the continents many problems by building on its inherent potentials. Establishing such an 'operational' narrative is one purpose of the joint initiative between the Wits Business School and the Southern Africa trust; a story which must have relevance and traction in the lives of Africa's people.A theoretical framework in section two introduces a complexity view of social, cultural economic, political, linguistic and other processes leading to a contemporary African landscape where gifting is expressed through three institutionalised gifting practices: endogenous, exogenous and blended. An ontological approach explains this long pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial trajectory, concentrating on a period starting around the beginning of this millennium. Readers most interested in this era could start looking at Section five. When doing so, please note that section three draws attention in to the power of words. To be ontologically coherent, new narratives often require suitable nomenclatures, in this case a choice of 'gifting' rather than 'giving' or of 'philanthropy' – understood as a practice within gifting - which is a poorly translatable term and concept in an African languages and moral philosophy of ubuntu. From a communications point of view, the choice for a distinctive terminology will continually call for justification and explanation until recognition of its narrative value for comprehending Africa's story in its own right.Since the start of the millennium, practices of gifting by and on the continent are undergoing rapid changes inviting excitement at their innovation and concern about their effects in, for example, areas of public policy, rights, universal access to public services and democratic governance. Discussing these and similar issues can be found in section six which is followed by a detailed review of local resource mobilization from private sources for public benefit derived from within the continent and its Diaspora. Across the three institutional types, uncertain but indicative estimates of their monetary value are in the order of US$ 55 – 85 billion per annum. Including the non-monetary and non-material value of gifting could take this (much) higher. Counting foreign aid, both official and private, would add the monetary by almost the same amount again.1 A planned concentration on local resource mobilisation in African gifting will contribute to reducing dependency on an aid system not known for its reliability.The concluding section seven switches focus to various issues of embedding the Chair of African philanthropy at the Wits Business School. Many ideas and content are inspired by participants at a pan- African inaugural seminar held in March 2016. This event has helped to create a 10 year profile and value preposition for the Chair at WBS in terms, for example, of the latter's Vision 2022, with guiding principles of excellence, a research-intensive agenda, a deeper business reading of African countries, transformation and more. With a tentative implementation schedule, these and other contributions must translate into a viable business model, a task which lies ahead.

Creating an Enabling Environment for Philanthropy through Tax Incentives

May 1, 2014

KCDF in collaboration with Strathmore Tax Research Centre launched a philanthropy report that looked into deepening the understanding of creating an enabling environment for philanthropy through tax incentive? The overall objective of this research was to enable all interested parties and stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the state of philanthropy in Kenya and the role that tax incentives play in promoting philanthropy through an analysis of awareness, interactions and attitudes of both Public Benefit Organizations (PBOs) and recipients of charitable giving, with existing tax incentives.


March 31, 2012

The perceived purpose of business has been under intense public scrutiny for at least the past decade. Particularly since the global economic recession the role of business in society is constantly debated in business media and literature. The emerging consensus is that in healthy and prosperous societies there is a symbiotic relationship between corporation and community.This paper focuses on the Social aspect of Sustainability and suggests that Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and associated activities including Employee Community Involvement (ECI) are key aspects of Sustainability. As such these should be planned in a manner that strengthens the competitive context in support of other Shared Value initiatives. The suggested paradigm presents a unique opportunity for business to move social issues from the periphery to the core of strategy, and in so doing to reconnect business success with social progress. This model has particular relevance in South Africa where prevailing levels of social and economic inequality present a threat to social stability and business growth.

The Story Behind the Well: A Case Study of Successful Community Development in Makutano, Kenya

September 16, 2011

What are the key ingredients that are required to make "good development" happen and how can they be fostered? The story behind the well: a case study of successful community development in Makutano, Kenya is a new publication from the GFCF and the Coady International Institute. It tells the story of Makutano, a community in rural Kenya, which over the course of the last fourteen years has transformed itself from a poor, inaccessible and arid "outback" into a thriving hotbed of people-led development.

Innovative Corporate Social Responsibility in Botswana: The Debswana Mining Company Study Case

January 1, 2011

This paper presents a study case on innovative corporate social responsibility as a very important aspect of management planning and, in the process, explores some trends and new ideas pertaining to corporate social responsibility in mining industries. Some pertinent literature is reviewed as a theoretical frame to introduce the presentation of the Debswana Mining Company case to show innovative corporate social responsibility in the mining industries in Botswana.

Spiritual Capital and Democratization in Zimbabwe: A Case Study of a Progressive Charismatic Congregation

November 6, 2009

This article utilizes an ethnographic case study of a 'progressive' charismatic congregation in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 2007, to provide evidence that 'pietism' and 'prosperity' are not the only options for charismatic Christianity.

Building Livelihoods: A Field Manual for Practitioners in Humanitarian Settings

May 10, 2009

This publication by the Women's Refugee Commission is based on two-and-a-half years of research and 10 field assessments covering all contexts of displacement: refugee, IDP and returnee situations, in camp settings, as well as in rural and urban areas. It is informed by several pilot projects that were funded from one to three years in places such as the refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border; with women at-risk of gender-based violence who have returned to Burundi; and in the slums of Bogota, Colombia, home to a large displaced population.The field manual has been reviewed and contributed to by experts from the NGO practitioner, UN and academic communities, including those who participated in a three-day intensive workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation's conference center in Bellagio, Italy. This field manual does not provide all the answers, nor does it provide models that can be simply replicated from one context to another. Instead, it provides guidance, ideas, tools and suggestions to assist practitioners and program managers in making strategic choices about their livelihood interventions so that programs can be appropriately designed and have greater impact.This field manual was produced to assist practitioners who desire to strengthen their skills and enhance their knowledge in order to do better livelihoods and economic recovery programming. The Women's Refugee Commission hopes that the manual helps members of the humanitarian community succeed in our endeavor to do better -- the displaced deserve no less.

The Effects of HIV/AIDS-related Mortality on Family Structures in Namibia: Selected Case Studies from Namibian Aids Service Organisations

January 1, 2009

This research dissertation was undertaken to increase knowledge of the effects of AIDS related adult mortality on family structures in Namibia. Previous research focused mainly on very specific effects like food security or the needs of OVCs. This research includes changes in family size, form, composition, economic activities and distribution of the care burden as a result of AIDS related adult morbidity and mortality. The key findings were that AIDS mortality intersects with other social factors to bring about changes in family structures.

Institutional Forms of Philanthropy in West Africa

October 24, 2008

How do African foundations mobilize monetary and non monetary resources (methods, strategies)? Who contributes to their budget (individuals, organizations, businesses, members, boards) and to which extent (percentage of local resources versus foreign ones)? What limitations and obstacles do African foundations face in their resources mobilization policies and practices (lack of information, lack of strategic planning, and lack of skills)? Are they financially sustainable? To address those questions, we conduct a comparative analysis of five (5) foundations evolving in West Africa.

A study on extent and activities of family foundations in South Africa

August 31, 2005

The intention of this study was to investigate the extent and activities of Family Foundation in South Africa. The quantitative aspect was to constitute a scooping exercise of family foundations; the quantitative aspect was to select five family foundations in terms of their identity as Muslim, Jewish, Christian, black african and Afrikaner. The rationale behind this methodology was to explore the entent to which religious, ethno-linguistic and racial constructions inform and extent of giving. Issues to be explored within this context included the structure, policies and decision-making procedures of the foundations.

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