Rais­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of phi­lan­thropy in Nige­ria

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Contents - Pres­i­dent, Dan­gote Group, Aliko Dan­gote

Grow­ing up, I watched my dad en­gage in sev­eral phil­an­thropic ac­tiv­i­ties. He gave to peo­ple and causes he cared about. Much of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of these phil­an­thropic deeds were ex­tended fam­ily mem­bers, the lo­cal com­mu­nity, friends and re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions. Some­times, the ben­e­fi­cia­ries were strangers. This is typ­i­cal of Nige­rian phi­lan­thropy and giv­ing, which are largely mo­ti­vated by cultural be­liefs and obli­ga­tions, rather than gen­eros­ity.

In Nige­ria, as it is in many parts of Africa, phi­lan­thropy is at the core of what binds so­ci­ety to­gether. Phil­an­thropic giv­ing gen­er­ally sup­ports poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and some­times helps to pro­vide as­sis­tance towards ed­u­ca­tion. But much of these giv­ing is not mea­sur­able in terms of its im­pact, and it hardly pro­duces the de­sired re­sults.

On his 70th birth­day in 2016, my dad for­malised his phi­lan­thropy by set­ting up a pri­vate foun­da­tion. Sadly, he passed away four months af­ter the launch of the foun­da­tion. Sup­ported by a great Board of Trustees, I am now sad­dled with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­vid­ing strate­gic direc­tion and leadership that will pro­duce mea­sur­able im­pact and re­sults for the ac­tiv­i­ties of the foun­da­tion.

Hith­erto, I had ob­tained a cer­tifi­cate in So­cial Im­pact Leadership from Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia's Haas School of Busi­ness. The course was of­fered in partnership with Phi­lan­thropy Univer­sity. The pivot of this cer­tifi­cate pro­gramme was so­cial im­pact phi­lan­thropy and in­vest­ment. But in spite of the knowl­edge that I ac­quired through this pro­gramme, my role at my late dad's pri­vate foun­da­tion has ex­posed me to the world of phi­lan­thropy in a dif­fer­ent way.

Phi­lan­thropy is re­garded as any good­will to fel­low hu­man be­ings, es­pe­cially ef­forts towards pro­mot­ing their wel­fare. It could take sev­eral forms, in­clud­ing giv­ing of money, time, ex­per­tise, skills and as­sets. Over the years, the act of giv­ing to im­pact lives has evolved and the ben­e­fits of phi­lan­thropy to the so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of countries, es­pe­cially de­vel­op­ing na­tions, can­not be overem­pha­sised. Even in de­vel­oped countries, phi­lan­thropy is con­tribut­ing in no small mea­sure to the bet­ter­ment of the so­ci­ety. In the United King­dom, pri­vate giv­ing av­er­ages around £9 bil­lion each year.

In the United States, more than $800 bil­lion re­sides in foun­da­tions and dono­rad­vised funds. Fund for our Eco­nomic Fu­ture, a phil­an­thropic col­lab­o­ra­tion ded­i­cated to ad­vanc­ing eco­nomic growth

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