The Global Philanthropy Environment Index “Sub-Saharan Africa” region includes Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Over the last two decades, we have seen a growth in high-profile Africans giving to big causes across the continent. As of January 2021, Africa had 18 billionaires, worth an average of USD 4.1 billion. These billionaires are spread across the continent but concentrated in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. Furthermore, the AfriAsia 2019 Wealth report provides insights into varying levels of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) spread across Africa. According to the report, there are approximately 140,000 HNWIs living in Africa, each with net assets of USD 1 million or more. There are approximately 6,900 multi-millionaires living in Africa, each with net assets of USD 10 million or more. There are approximately 310 centi-millionaires living in Africa, each with net assets of USD 100 million or more. One of the important lessons from the previous decades has been that as the number of wealthy individuals/families/corporations grows, there is high likelihood of an increase in the amounts set aside for philanthropic causes. Studies (Murisa, 2018; Schweir et al., 2020) have concluded that giving by HNWI is mostly local; most donations go toward social services and welfare relief and most of the large gifts are directed at the public sector. The majority either support government processes or prefer to implement their own processes. Very few NGOs receive more than 50 percent of their budgets from Africa’s HNWIs. As of 2018 only two African HNWIs had endowed their foundations; the others remain dependent on either the parent company allocating a percentage from their profits or literally a decision by the founder on how much the foundation should receive.
Additionally, the majority of African countries are yet to provide tax incentives for philanthropy; NGOs are in many countries seen as anti-government, which makes it difficult for philanthropists to support them, and the lack of stability in a majority of African currencies negatively affects levels of giving.View the full Sub-Saharan Africa region report