Perspectives on Philanthropy in Africa
Regardless of your opinion regarding all the celebrity attention focused on Africa these days, we can all probably agree that this massive continent is burdened with unparalleled needs. Two summaries offer perspectives on the roles that philanthropy can and is playing to address these needs.
The first is from the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy's new issue of "New Century Philanthropy" which is focused on corporate philanthropy on the continent. It cites USAID's experience, that "...corporate philanthropy is particularly effective when linked to a company's core business." Examples which demonstrate this approach include Coca-Cola's efforts to bring clean water to Africa, in part because it needs clean water for Coke, and Mars, Inc's efforts to support small, independent West African cocoa farmers.
The issue also features an introduction by Jeffrey Sachs, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time." In the book, Sachs describes a framework he believes can eliminate extreme poverty worldwide within 20 years. To repeat, he makes a credible argument describing what it would take to eliminate extreme poverty in 20 years. Give it a gander?
The second is an article entitled, "Africa: Four Reasons for Hope" produced by the Case Foundation. The Foundation was established by Jean and Steve Case, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of America Online, Inc. (AOL) and, later, the chairman of AOL Time Warner. Steve has been a strong advocate of how cross-sectoral approaches can effectively advance social change. This article, which includes valuable references for further reading, is only one example of how Case is using that perspective to advance the welfare some of the most disenfranchised peoples on the globe.