Redistributive policy

Technology, growing politics of philanthropy in Africa

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

Overall, the reasons why individuals, institutions and organizations extend a helping hand, whether in cash or in kind, to needy entities or groups of people using philanthropy in practice have been widely marked. by differing points of view and positions. Much of the controversy that has followed philanthropy in practice has focused more on the sources of donor wealth than on the outcome and impact on the target. Nonetheless, and against conventional expectations of a noticeable decline in volume and impact, philanthropy has in recent decades grown by leaps and bounds; break down the old barriers to entry temporarily erected in markets and territories.

Compared to the West, however, Africa primarily faces a growing challenge of inequality and poverty. The continent is billed as the second most unequal continent in the world and is home to seven of the most unequal countries, with the top 0.0001% holding 40% of the wealth of the entire continent (according to OXFAM).

With a persistent challenge of political instability, corruption and mismanagement of collective resources by the ruling class, the case for more efficient allocation of resources to reach the poorest people and communities has always existed. The continent has a wealth of opportunities – a booming population – mostly young people in the 18-35 age bracket, fast growing economies and even greater scope for development due to abundance natural resources. Thus, Africa has always represented fertile ground for the most impactful development work of philanthropists globally – exerting a strong pull for the deployment of private funds for the empowerment and amelioration of the suffering of the poorest communities. poorest in deprived rural areas as well as growing cosmopolitan cities.

Clearly, redefining models of philanthropic intermediation – the redirection of funds from surplus units to deficit units – and its consequent execution now falls more to young Africans passionate about escaping generational stagnation and underdevelopment. that they have experienced. with, unfortunately. They have a vehicle ready to achieve their goals with energy, enthusiasm and, most importantly, tremendous advancements made in technology through innovation and ingenuity and in turn opening up a breakthrough for community penetration.

Jacob Mwathi, currently Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Center on African Philanthropy and Social Investment at Wits Business School in South Africa, said that “a key positive trend in philanthropy is the emergence of tools to encourage and facilitate such donations”. Indeed, technology has led to new ways of giving through social media, crowdfunding platforms and mobile giving. Such tools could facilitate fundraising activities and serve as a catalyst for national donations. »

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

Likewise, young people can explore technology to mobilize and collaborate across geographic boundaries for the mobilization of time, natural resources, talents and skills for philanthropic causes.

On the home front, although the force of interventions in failing African neighborhoods has so far been largely advanced on the basis of religion, policies and projects, social media is becoming a real tool not only for the identification of social causes but also for the mobilization and their eventual distribution.

Furthermore, the religious gathering of the faithful provided a strong platform for the growing “congregation” of young philanthropists, especially with “almsgiving”, a key tenet of the Christian and Muslim religions. By building on faith-based causes, young people can do massive outreach in households and communities where a strong bond for unity, faith and purpose develops.

Renowned and reputable international organizations are paving 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 is growing in importance in this charge.

The campaign track record has not been entirely different in many African countries, with aspiring public holders spending huge funds and undertaking grassroots sharing to steer the acceptance of electoral blocs within targeted constituencies. Nevertheless, although this does not formally change much to the ascent of the poverty scale of individuals in these communities, they have momentarily responded to the needs of individuals and citizens. Young people can push for greater concentration of private finance for development with strong social causes as they make up the largest share of the voting public in many African countries like Nigeria.

Pooled financing of private sector captains of industry to tackle development is becoming increasingly popular among elites, with the education and health sectors hosting the largest interventions in Africa. As one might guess, while no stranger to the renewed focus on health, wellbeing, and the future of work post-COVID-19, he posits that technology and human capital game changers in a world that urgently aspires to change, the redistribution of wealth and well-being. .

Noble causes of development emanate from sources hitherto ignored. In Nigeria, where I salute, the National Youth Service Corp, a one-year program for new university graduates to engage in national integration, knowledge and community development, updates planned philanthropic goals with hundreds of impactful projects undertaken by new graduates both privately and in collaboration with communities, traditional leaders, corporate bodies, government and non-governmental organizations each year.

This seems to lend credence to my deepest belief that young people have been in the mainstream and will still be a force to be reckoned with in the disruptive age of the jet. These are the structures necessary to, at a minimum, consolidate the quest for benevolence and a greater level of development in the immediate communities and beyond. At a minimum, only a willful and passionate spirit, combined with a singular and noble cause to redress the fortunes of every disadvantaged African, is the trigger to hit the mark on the continent.

  • Imouokhome is senior technology consultant at PwC Nigeria; Obisesan is the first female president of the Babcock Economics Student Association