Technology, growing policy philanthropy in Africa

The art of giving to purposeful causes that aim to effect social change and impact people and communities is a trans-generational practice globally.

In general, the reasons why individuals, institutions and organizations extend a helping hand – whether in money or in kind – to entities or groups of people in need using philanthropy in practice, are mainly characterized by different views and positions. Much of the controversy behind philanthropy in practice has focused more on the sources of donor wealth than on the outcome and impact on the target. However, and against conventional expectations of an obvious descent in volume and influence, philanthropy has grown in recent decades by leaps and bounds; breaking down former barriers to entry currently erected across markets and territories.

Compared to the West, however, Africa mainly faces a growing challenge of inequality and poverty. The continent ranks as the second most unequal continent in the world and home to the seventh most unequal country, with the richest 0.0001 percent owning 40 percent of the continent’s wealth (according to OXFAM).

With a constant challenge of political instability, corruption and mismanagement of collective resources by the ruling class, the case for a more efficient allocation of resources to reach the poorest people and communities has always existed. The continent is in a mass of opportunity – a growing population – mostly young people in the 18-35 age group, a rapidly growing economy and an even greater opportunity for development due to the abundance of natural resources. Thus, Africa has always represented a fertile ground for the most impactful development work by philanthropists globally – holding a great attraction for deploying private funds for the emancipation and upliftment of the poorest communities in disadvantaged rural areas as well as growing cosmopolitan cities.

It is clear that the redefinition of models for philanthropic intermediation – the re-channeling of funds from surplus to deficit units – and its accompanying execution now extends more to young Africans who are passionate about escaping the generational stagnation and underdevelopment they have lived. with, unfortunately. They have a ready tool to achieve their goals with ready energy, enthusiasm and, most importantly, the steep breakthroughs that are made by technology riding on the backs of innovation and ingenuity and in turn opening up a breakthrough for the penetration of community.

A current associate professor and deputy director at the Center for African Philanthropy and Social Investment, Wits Business School in South Africa, Jacob Mwathi, said a “major positive trend in philanthropy is the emergence of tools to encourage and facilitate such giving . Indeed, technology has led to new ways of giving through social media, crowdfunding platforms and mobile giving. Such tools can facilitate fundraising activities and serve as a catalyst for domestic giving.”

There are many opportunities to extend the successes achieved so far, especially with crowdfunding activities for social causes. There have been incredible donations of thousands of dollars on platforms like Go-Fund-Me where urgent medical, social, educational, political and financial goals have been met and exceeded.

Similarly, young people can explore technology to mobilize and collaborate across geographical boundaries to mobilize time, natural resources, talents and skills for philanthropic causes.

On the domestic front, although the power of interventions in disadvantaged African neighborhoods has previously been advanced mainly against the background of religion, politics and projects, social media is becoming a real tool not only for identifying social causes, but also for mobilizing and disseminating eventual.

Also, the religious gathering of worshipers has provided a strong platform for the growth of the ‘congregation’ of new philanthropists, especially with ‘alms-giving’, a key tenet of the Christian and Muslim religion. Starting from religious causes, young people can reach out to be massive in families and communities where a strong bond of unity, faith and purpose flourishes.

Well-known and reputable international organizations are leading the way for the next generation of philanthropic mediation in Africa to impact social causes and reduce death and suffering. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation takes importance in this task.

The antecedents of the electorate have not been entirely different in many African countries, with aspiring public owners spending huge funds and undertaking the sharing of grassroots elements to drive the acceptance of voting blocs within target areas. However, while this formally does not make much difference in raising the poverty levels of individuals in these communities, they have for the time being met the needs of individuals and citizens. Young people can push for a greater concentration of private financing for development with strong social causes, as they make up the majority of the voting public in many African countries such as Nigeria.

Funding raised by captains of industry in the private sector to tackle development is becoming increasingly popular among elites, with the education and health sectors welcoming the largest interventions in Africa. As you might guess, while not unrelated to the renewed focus on health, wellness and the future of work after COVID-19, it posits that technology and human capital are game-changers in a world that urgently needs change. redistribution of wealth and welfare. .

Noble causes for development spring from previously ignored sources. In Nigeria, where I hail, the National Youth Service Corp, a year-long scheme for young graduates to engage in national integration, knowledge and community development is realizing its intended philanthropic goals with hundreds of impactful projects undertaken by recent school graduates both privately and in collaboration with communities, traditional leaders, corporate bodies, government and non-governmental organizations every year.

This seems to lend credence to my larger belief that young people have been mainstream and will still be a force to be reckoned with in a jet age that is disruptive. They are the structures needed to at least solidify the quest for goodness and a greater level of development in nearby communities and beyond. At the very least, only a willing and passionate mind, together with a special and noble cause to turn around the fortunes of every underprivileged African, is the trigger to hit the mark on the continent.

  • Imouokhome is a Senior Technology Consultant at PwC Nigeria; Obeisan is the first female president of the Babcock Economics Student Association

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