Edited by Marilyn L. Taylor, Robert J. Strom and David O. Renz
Chapter 11: African entrepreneurs and their philanthropies: motivations, challenges and impact
In the past decade the media has reported increasing entrepreneurial activities in Africa (for example, Ventures Africa, This Day Live Africa, Forbes and CNN Africa).The increase in the number of private enterprises in the continent is very visible, although specific contributions to the economies are yet to be determined. Many of these successful entrepreneurs are also becoming philanthropists, as also reported by the media (for example see Oladoye, 2012). Their motives are not always clear, but speculation includes the influences of culture, especially religion or belief, as well as social consciousness. The Ugandan proverb above captures the type of culture of caring expectations prevalent in many African countries. The culture of the extended or large family system demands that the rich or wealthy members of the family bear the responsibility for the well-being of the less fortunate. This culture may be tied to the popular saying, especially in West Africa, ‘The shame of poverty and homelessness is not on the victim but on the wealthy members of the family’. Religiously, the Muslim or Islamic society demands that the Imams and wealthy take the responsibility of feeding the poor who gather in their homes every evening, especially on Fridays. Islamic or Muslim philanthropy indicates that ‘giving’ is integrated into Islamic culture and law.
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