APF Breakfast Meeting and Discussion in London

On November 18, KPMG was delighted to collaborate with The African Philanthropy Forum (APF) and W8 Advisory, to host the first European-held APF event. What a great success! One of the key outcomes is an expression of interest in hosting a similar event in London dedicated to galvanizing Asian philanthropists in Africa.

The session, opened by Julio Garrido-Mirapeix, one of the founding Partners and Head of International Development Advisory Services (IDAS), provided a private setting for a select group of philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. Keynote speakers were Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Co-founder, Higherlife Foundation and Tom Illube, Chairman, African Gifted Foundation. There were contributions from Anant Suchak, Group Chair Africa Corridor, Emerging Markets Practice (KPMG), Bimpe Nkontchou, Managing Principal of W8 Advisory LLP and George Manu, Partner, International Development Advisory Services (IDAS).

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Representatives of diverse business interests and Foundations engaged in upbeat dialogue. The audience shared experiences and strategies for achieving broad based prosperity and inclusive development on the African continent.
Julio’s opening remarks pointed to Africa, once perceived an aid dependent continent to its renewed image, a magnet for attracting global investment and philanthropic activity. One of the most interesting developments lately is of course African philanthropy and this event is a testimony to this new movement.

Ndidi Nwuneli, Director of the African Philanthropy Forum (APF), shared its strategy and vision including its value and impact since inception in 2014. Africa’s potential philanthropic capital remains largely untapped.
As a vehicle for transformative change, the APF inspires, equips and supports emerging and established African philanthropists. Nwuneli also described APF’s impact since its inception, including successful Forums hosted in Ethiopia, Rwanda and more recently in Morocco and side events held in New York, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria. A key outcome of a breakfast briefing held in Nigeria in June 2016 has been the creation of an affinity group for philanthropists in education. This was brought about by realisation that 60% of the philanthropists were privately funding scholarships, but few were collaborating to address the root causes of the crises in the education sector. The community has since met to commence collaborations in the sector.

Nwuneli also introduced the audience to the African Philanthropists Toolkit recently developed by the APF: https://philanthropyforum.org/apftoolkit/

Ndidi’s intentions for initiating this London meeting is to build awareness of APF amongst affluent and professional Africans living and working in the UK, to expand the APF network and to encourage participation from outside the continent from those who have a strong connection to it.

Ndidi acknowledged and appreciated the strong support received by the APF from Bimpe Nkontchou of W8 Advisory and the enthusiasm of KPMG’s Anant Suchak with the practical and helpful input of Senda Kavindele of KPMG in facilitating and hosting APF’s first ever London convening at KPMG’s offices in Mayfair, London.

Anant Suchak, Group Chair Africa Corridor, Emerging Markets Practice (KPMG) addressed the role of big business in social inclusion. He cited corporate philanthropy, as a means to achieve the UN sustainable Development Goals to end poverty.

He commended the academic advancement of City Academy, Hackney, a school sponsored by KPMG’s Social Mobility Program in the UK. The Academy is judged by the UK Government’s Office for Standards in Education (“OFSTED”) to be ‘outstanding’ in all categories. It is rated by the Department for Education as one of the top 5 schools in England for student progress in both 2014 and 2015.

KPMG has invested £1.9 million in cash in the Academy which constitutes a high proportion of students from minority ethnic heritage. KPMG employees have contributed over 90,100 hours of volunteering and pro bono work to boost its employability programs.

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A philanthropic initiative aimed at building capacity in STEM subjects on the African continent, has gained a strong foot-hold through the work of Tom Ilube, Founder and Chairman of the African Gifted Foundation. He recently launched the African Science Academy in Ghana, an institution dedicated to teaching science and technology subjects to gifted African girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. The first intake are students from Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, who are all funded through scholarships. The objective is to provide a world class institution on the continent, which will be recognized as a center of excellence for our young and dynamic population who would otherwise not have the opportunity or exposure to such facilities, due to lack of funds.

Tom lit up the room with his passion and convictions, describing his early motivations as the desire to find the 500,000 young people on the African continent with a brain comparable to Albert Einstein. In a quest to identify the gifted individuals, he started running science academies to teach space science in 2010. Describing himself as a “butterfly hunter”, Tom believes that we can cause large global impact from identifying key pivots.

His vision is to create a leading science academy in Africa “We don’t have to compromise because it is Africa. If it were anywhere else in the world, these students would be given the best opportunity”, he said.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa, spoke of the vision of herself and her husband Strive Masiwiya that led to the establishment 20 years ago of The Higherlife Foundation. Her pursuit for a soul searching life journey has now touched the lives and educated over 250,000 disadvantaged children across Africa. The Foundation features Rhodes scholars and graduates of leading global academic institutions among its scholarship recipients.

Tsitsi believes that Africans need to take ownership and deliver self-funded solutions to the challenges of the continent. Describing her motivations for setting up the Foundation, she said: “I am not trying to build a legacy. I don’t do it for recognition. I am committed to it as a faithful and master servant of God”.

Tsitsi openly shared some successes and failures of the Higherlife Foundation, stressing the need for comprehensive interventions to change lives, and to act as “champions on the ground” to ensure that we minimize failure. She commended the work of the APF in fostering an opportunity to create a dialogue for structured giving in a manner that can help achieve greater scale.

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Bimpe Nkontchou, Managing Principal, W8 Advisory LLP (www.w8advisory.com) addressed a number of mechanisms for philanthropy and also analysed the nature and concepts that support it. She emphasised key attributes of Africa’s philanthropy, currently in its nascent and exciting stage of development. She pointed to statistics which show that following the quickened pace of economic development on the African continent, a record numbers of Africans were registered as having a combined wealth of US $860 million in 2015.

Highlighting a number of resources and scope of giving, Bimpe called for Africans to step up their giving in a structured and long term manner and also by developing policies and programmes that would encourage corporate philanthropy (such as the PLEDGE 1%, launched in the UK in February 2016) which could easily be replicated by companies which operate on the African continent. Bimpe also highlighted how family businesses that practice philanthropy are more likely to also incorporate good family governance and ethics which support the family’s intergenerational transfer of wealth. She said “a family foundation is both an excellent platform for philanthropy and for implementing family governance, ethics and family investments”.
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George Manu, Partner, International development Advisory Services (IDAS) shared highlights of the firms fund management for impact in Africa, citing case studies and providing empirical evidence to support its activities on the continent.

Established formally by the KPMG Africa Board in 2007, and since 2009 hosted by KPMG East Africa but working across the continent, IDAS is a KPMG Centre of Excellence. Set up to respond effectively to development challenges, it adopts a global approach to development advisory work, practicing core KPMG knowledge in financial and fiduciary risk management.

Headquartered in Nairobi, with regional hubs hosted by KPMG Ghana and KPMG Zimbabwe, it is integrated by seven Partners with almost 200 professionals.

IDAS has a large development impact portfolio, it manages 425 grantees (of which 80% are private companies) in 45 countries in Africa and Asia with US$1.2 billion under management on behalf of development partners, foundations, philanthropists and impact investors. It boasts sector expertise in agribusiness, renewable energy and climate change, resilience, financial inclusion, governance and health. Programme fund management is its core service, driving innovation to ensure effective and efficient use of development resources.

IDAS works with some of the world’s leading funds, representing a vast range of iconic clients, from UK Aid (DFID), Swedish Co-operation (Sida), The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank, The MasterCard Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) to name but a few. Funds under management include the US$250 million Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), hosted by AGRA for eight years and now a legal entity in its own right. See for example the AECF latest annual impact report:
http://www.aecfafrica.org/impact/impact-reports/aecf-impact-report-2015

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The recent triumph of the London breakfast briefing has triggered the London “Movement for Philanthropy” as an instrument for change and development in Africa.

The event set the right tone for fostering deeper social inclusion. It has pushed forward the agenda for formalizing giving. The work and support of the APF has been highly commended as a platform to provide the means to engage, learn and share outcomes for home-grown solutions to address the continent’s developmental challenges.