Africa has emerged as a region of stunning economic growth. It is the site of economic innovation and opportunity, business leadership, and rapid, hopeful change. But continued social and economic progress hinges on participation—growth must be inclusive and prosperity shared to ensure Africa’s promising future.

A bold, forward-looking generation of business leaders, philanthropists and policymakers know that a new model for growth is required if all Africans are to prosper. They see human capital and ecological resources as assets to be leveraged. They use enterprise, smart policies and strategic philanthropy as tools to address growing economic disparities and marginalization. They see a development agenda that is devised and advanced by Africans for Africa.

This is therefore a moment of opportunity for philanthropy in Africa; it can be a catalyst for the promotion of new ideas, collaboration and the cross-fertilization of practices across sectors. The continent’s philanthropists and social investors are already seeding promising enterprises and supporting effective NGOs, building a robust civil society able to advance Africa’s development goals. In the process, they are testing and demonstrating innovative solutions to festering social and environmental problems; helping to spur economic activity at the base of the pyramid, a step toward growing the middle class; and advancing transparency, accountability, and competence in the public, private and social sectors.