A Glaring Focus on Africa’s Top Philanthropists

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The top billionaires in Africa CEOs today contribute to society in a variety of ways. Here is a list of some of the most prominent philanthropists who have made diverse contributions to the African continent, as listed by African Leadership Magazine.


1. Manu Chandaria


He is a senior member of the Comcraft Group of Companies, a multibillion-dollar company with operations in over 40 countries. As a devout follower of Jainism, Chandaria and his family founded the Chandaria Foundation to uphold the religion’s ideals. The Chandaria family has established charity trusts in each of the more than 11 African nations where Comcraft operates to support their philanthropic endeavours. As the head of the Chandaria Foundation, he is at the forefront of the family’s charity endeavours. He is or has been associated with over 25 organisations and has contributed to several Kenyan schools and clinics. Because they founded the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, respectively, Chandaria credits Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller as the inspiration behind his charitable streak. The Carnegie Medal of Charity has been given to Chandaria to appreciate his “contributions to society” and “innovative philanthropy.”.


2. Mo Ibrahim (Sudan)

An English millionaire and businessman, Sir Mohammed Fathi Ahmed Ibrahim, is Africa’s top-most-known philanthropist His offices are based in Dakar and London. Ibrahim established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2006 to promote good leadership and governance throughout Africa. The Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership was established by the Foundation in 2007 to honour exceptional political leadership on the continent. Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano was the inaugural recipient of this award. The Foundation releases the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which rates the governance performance of all 54 African nations annually. According to the Foundation, governance is “the delivery of public goods and services—political, social, and economic—that every citizen is entitled to receive from their government and that a government must provide to its citizens.” The Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW), organized by the Foundation annually, brings together essential figures from Africa and worldwide to discuss topics critical to the continent’s development. The Foundation provides scholarships to London Business School, SOAS, and University of Birmingham students. These scholarships are for study in the following fields: London Business School’s MBA programmeme, SOAS’s Governance of Development in Africa programmeme, and the University of Birmingham’s International Development The scholarships are intended for postgraduate and master’s students from Africa.


3. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia):

From 2006 to 2018, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a politician from Liberia, led the country as its 24th president. The first female head of state elected in Africa was Sirleaf. Since leaving office as president, Sirleaf has fought for several causes, including economic growth in her native Liberia and social problems about women’s rights. Despite being out of office as president, Johnson Sirleaf has not stopped advocating for women’s rights and Liberia’s economic growth.

4. Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote is an industrialist and businessman from Nigeria. The Dangote Group is the most significant industrial conglomerate in West Africa, and he is most known for being its founder, chairman, and CEO. In November 2023, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index put his net worth at $16.1 billion, making him the wealthiest individual in Africa, the most prosperous black person globally, and the 107th richest person globally. Prominent philanthropist Dangote has contributed billions of dollars to various causes, such as poverty alleviation, health care, and education.

5. Angelique Kidjo(Benin):

Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Angélique Kidjo is a French-Belgian singer-songwriter, activist, and actress well-known for her inventive music videos and wide range of musical tastes. Kidjo was raised by a family of entertainers. Her mother was a theatre director and choreographer, while her father was a musician. Kidjo has five Grammy Awards to her name. She won the Polar Music Prize in 2023. Kidjo co-founded The Batonga Foundation with Mary Louise Cohen  and John R. Phillips, providing information and skills to some of Benin’s most marginalised and vulnerable young women and girls, enabling them to be change agents in their lives and communities. To do this, Batonga finds Benin’s most susceptible teenage girls and links them to safe places centred around females and run by women from Benin. These safe places offer training that enables young women and girls to develop their social capital and learn new financial literacy skills.


6. Ashish J. Thakkar

He is an entrepreneur living in Rwanda. In addition to being a co-founder of Atlas Mara Limited, he is the creator of the Mara Group and Mara Foundation. Although Thakkar was born in the UK, he spent his adolescent years in East Africa before starting the pan-African conglomerate Mara Group when he was just fifteen. The operations and interests of Mara Group are spread over 22 African nations. The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Economic Miracle is the book he wrote. In 2009, Thakkar established the nonprofit Mara Foundation, which trains and assists young African business owners. The Mara Foundation introduced a smartphone application called Mara Mentor to link young entrepreneurs with business experts.

7. Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe

Football administrator and millionaire businessman Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe is from South Africa. He is a founder member and past president of Corporate Unity SA (BUSA), one of the most significant corporate advocacy and lobby groups in South Africa. He was appointed interim head of the Black Business Council in 2011. He has also contributed a lot of money to South African health initiatives.

8. James Mwangi.

James Mwangi is a businessman, entrepreneur, career banker, and accountant from Kenya. At Equity Group Holdings Plc, a banking behemoth with over 14 million customers, he serves as Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Equity Bank started the Wings to Fly programme in 2010 under Mwangi’s direction, giving scholarships to underprivileged Kenyan students. More than 26,304 students have benefited from the initiative since its start, and 633 have enrolled in prestigious international universities.


9. Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is a millionaire businessman and philanthropist from Zimbabwe who resides in London. He founded Econet Global and Cassava Technologies, two global technology companies, and serves as their executive chairman. Masiyiwa has awarded scholarships to over 250,000 young Africans over the last 20 years through his family foundation. He has funded students attending universities in America, the United Kingdom, and China and provided educational projects to benefit over 40,000 orphans.

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