Economic growth in Africa is fostering a cohort of wealthy moguls and a concurrent jump in large-scale philanthropy, leading online news and culture magazine Ozy to posit that the next Bill Gates could come from the continent.
In the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, the number of millionaires has risen by 145 percent since 2000. The growing ranks of the rich are breeding a new crop of donors experts say may be able to effect greater change in Africa than the Western donors who have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the continent with mixed results.
With deeper knowledge of local conditions and a commitment to building local institutions, African philanthropists aim to tackle the causes of problems and eschew one-off projects, according to Ozy. “They have the trust of their beneficiaries and can get feedback directly from them, which is extremely important,” said Jane Wales, CEO of the World Affairs Council and vice president of the Aspen Institute.