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African billionaire heirs are making their mark in philanthropy

The progeny of some of Africas’s wealthiest people are putting in more of their time to giving and impacting.

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Tsitsi Mutendi, co-founder of African Family Firms.

For many years philanthropy and Africa have been marred by the images of poor African children, starvation and refugees fleeing war-torn zones. However, if you live on the continent, you will know that it’s a vibrant and colorful place that has its challenges like all geographic locations. Some of the images that have plagued Africa have been real, but they do not tell the holistic story.

As the world has evolved, so has Africa. With a lot more homegrown wealth and an increase in millionaires and billionaires on the continent, we have seen the introduction of African foundations created and led by African families, African family offices and African family businesses. Africa has one of the fastest-growing markets of high net-worth individuals, and many of these individuals are becoming entrenched in sustainable philanthropy.

You may ask, “Where is this money coming from?”

According to a report authored by AfrAsia bank in 2021, the total private wealth held in Africa was standing at $2 trillion as of December 2020. In addition to this homegrown wealth, according to the World Bank, Africa diaspora remittances being sent home were about $48 billion in 2020.

With all this money being found on the continent in its various forms, we are beginning to see African giving becoming the norm and pushed forward by the spirit of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù]) is a Nguni Bantu term meaning, “humanity.” It is sometimes translated as, “I am because we are.” Ubuntu is essentially about togetherness and how all of our actions impact others and society.

In Africa, this culture and way of life permeates to everyday gestures in the course of life. In the past, it applied to family, friends and community members, but now we are seeing it expand to a broader audience and in various ways. African philanthropists are looking towards impact and addressing issues they experienced or their communities experience in a way that changes the narrative and creates opportunities for their recipients.

Most notable about the giving is that the conversation is not only being led by the African founders or matriarchs and patriarchs, but next-gens are also equally putting in their weight and names to giving and impacting. Some of the notable next-gen givers are:

  • Florence “Cuppy” Otedola, and the Cuppy Foundation. Cuppy is the daughter of billionaire Femi Otedola. The Cuppy Foundation tackles child protection and education issues for girls and persons with disabilities (minorities). Cuppy has spearheaded several initiatives, such as her “Cuppy Takes Africa” tour in 2015 in partnership with Guarantee Trust Bank and the Dangote Foundation. She has also personally paid for multiple students to go to university in Nigeria and worked with various organisations such as the Global Citizen, Royal Commonwealth Society, and the Save The Children Initiative, where she raised over $13 million.
  • Elizabeth Tanya Masiyiwa, the daughter of Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, is an executive director at Delta Philanthropies. Delta Philanthropies is a UK-registered charity founded by the Masiyiwa family and governed under the UK Charity Commission. Its strategic pillars include education, health, rural transformation and sustainable livelihoods, disaster relief and preparedness. Its impact has seen millions of dollars being put into creating a difference, and according to their website, it has impacted over 15 million people and counting.
  • Halima Aliko Dangote is a trustee for the Dangote Foundation. The foundation has become the largest private foundation in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor. The foundation is interested in health, education, empowerment and humanitarian relief.
  • Naguib, Samih and Nassef Sawiris all sit on the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development board, a charity that provides microcredit to Egyptian entrepreneurs and grants scholarships to outstanding Egyptian students in tertiary institutions. 
  • A most notable next-gen founder and philanthropist is Mohammed Dewji. The Tanzanian billionaire joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least half of his wealth to philanthropic causes. Dewji’s Mo Dewji Foundation focuses on three areas: health, education, and community development. Over five years, the Mo Dewji Foundation has spent more than $3 million in grants and other forms of funding for community service projects, supporting schools, hospitals and wells.

As we can now see, philanthropy is no longer just a buzzword. The global pandemic has highlighted why philanthropy is essential, especially when people are left marginalised. And Africa’s families have heeded the call and put their charitable giving to use. Next-gens being the key to continued giving, when they actively participate and lead the charge, they start exploring sustainable solutions in regions they are familiar with and communities they live amongst. It’s well worth seeing how the next-gens will drive the philanthropic future of the continent.

Through this work, we will see the values and vision of the various financial leaders of the continent and the future stewards of their wealth.

Tsitsi Mutendi is a co-founder of African Family Firms, an organization that aims to facilitate the continuity of African family businesses across generations. She is also the lead consultant at Nhaka Legacy Planning and the host of the Enterprising Families Podcast.

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Ye faces new hurdle in business and personal life as Australian visa denial looms

The potential denial of a visa may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Ye.

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Ye
Kanye West, now formerly known as Ye.

Kanye West, who is now formerly known as Ye, may face a new hurdle in his business and personal life as he may be denied entry into Australia.

The African-American rapper-turned-mogul had reportedly planned to meet the family of his new partner, Melbourne native Bianca Censori, but his anti-Semitic comments in October may prevent him from entering the country.

The news of a potential ban was confirmed by Australian Minister for Education Jason Clare, who stated that individuals who have made similar comments have been denied visas in the past and that Ye will have to go through the same process and answer the same questions.

“People like that who’ve applied for visas to get into Australia in the past have been rejected,” Clare said. “I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did.” 

Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dvir Abramovich and opposition leader Peter Dutton have joined in calling for Ye to be banned from entering Australia due to his “appalling” comments.

The backlash from Ye’s anti-Semitic remarks has already had a significant impact on his business ventures and wealth. In October, he lost all of his partnerships through his brand Yeezy with companies such as Adidas and Balenciaga.

The termination of the Adidas partnership, which began in 2013, had a substantial impact on Ye’s net worth. Forbes reported that the termination of the deal led to a decline of more than $1.6 billion, taking Ye’s net worth from $2 billion to $400 million.

The cancellation of the partnership that grew the Yeezy line into a brand that accounted for up to €1.5 billion ($1.47 billion) of Adidas’ total sales over the last decade is expected to cost the German behemoth up to €250 million ($247 million) in earnings.

The aftermath of Ye’s anti-Semitic comments has been negative for his wealth and ranking as one of the richest Black individuals in the US and one of the richest businessmen globally.

The potential denial of a visa to enter Australia may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Ye because of his anti-Semitic comments. 

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James Mwangi’s Equity Group to receive $4.1 million for acquisition of Spire Bank

Equity Group is the largest financial services conglomerate in East Africa.

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James Mwangi.

Equity Group Holdings, the Kenyan financial services giant led by James Mwangi, is set to receive millions of dollars from Mwalimu Sacco’s acquisition of financially distressed Spire Bank, as the teachers-backed lender agreed to pay Equity Group Ksh510 million ($4.1 million).

The deal is structured as an asset purchase transaction, backed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and will see Equity Group assume control over the assets and liabilities of the troubled bank.

The $4.1-million payment by Mwalimu Sacco to Equity represents the difference between the assets and liabilities of Spire Bank, implying that the bank holds zero value and the teachers have lost millions of dollars after purchasing a majority stake in 2014.

Mwalimu Sacco CEO Kenneth Odhiambo said the key consideration was to stop the bleeding and preserve Sacco’s bottomline for its members.

Equity Group will settle all redundancy costs for the more than 100 employees who will lose their jobs following the deal. The bank’s non-performing loans stand at Ksh2.63 billion ($21.1 million), and Equity’s immediate task will be to step up collections and recoveries.

The process of exiting Spire Bank was not as seamless as the initial acquisition, with Mwalimu Sacco citing the bank’s decline as beginning after the withdrawal of Naushad Merali’s deposits worth Ksh1.7 billion ($13.7 million), which represented one-fifth of the bank’s total deposits. 

The takeover of the troubled Spire Bank may present additional challenges and opportunities for Equity Group, which under the leadership of Kenyan businessman, Mwangi reported profits in excess of $280 million in the first nine months of 2022.

As of today, Equity Group shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange are trading at Ksh44.95 ($0.361) per share, a 0.99 percent decrease from their closing price on Fri., Jan. 27.

This values the company at Ksh170 billion ($1.36 billion) and Mwangi’s 3.38-percent stake at Ksh5.74 billion ($46.1 million).

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s food conglomerate achieves milestone with $195-million profit

Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, own 99.8 percent of BUA Foods.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu
Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

BUA Foods Plc, a leading food conglomerate majority owned by Africa’s fourth-richest man Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, has achieved a milestone in its financial performance as it reported record-high earnings at the end of its 2022 fiscal year.

With a profit surge surpassing N90 billion ($195 million), the company’s latest earnings report highlights its impressive growth and financial strength. The Abdul Samad Rabiu-led food conglomerate has reported a record high in its financial performance, with its profit for the year ending Dec. 31, 2022, surging by a staggering 30 percent.

The unaudited financial statements reveal that the group’s earnings rose from N69.77 billion ($151.5 million) in 2021 to N90.4 billion ($196.3 million) at the end of 2022, driven by an increase in revenue from its diverse product portfolio of sugar, pasta, bakery flour, and wheat bran.

The remarkable growth reflects the company’s ability to continuously expand its offerings and maximize profitability in a competitive market.

BUA Foods’ revenue surged from N333.37 billion ($723.8 million) to N417.82 billion ($907.1 million) due to increased sales of non-fortified sugar N79.15 billion ($171.8 million) to N144.29 billion ($313.2 million) and other food items such as sugar molasses, bakery flour, pasta, and wheat bran.

The increase in consumer demand for food items, including stockpiling, resulted in higher prices and a corresponding boost in revenue for the group.

The robust performance led to an increase in retained earnings and shareholder equity from N192.66 billion ($418.26 million) and N200.7 billion ($435.7 million) in 2021 to N237.15 billion ($514.86 million) and N245.21 billion ($532.35 million) in 2022.

The outstanding financial performance is expected to result in a substantial increase in dividend earnings for Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, with their 99.8-percent ownership in the consolidated food conglomerate.

This will be a marked improvement from the N62.9 billion ($151.6 million) that they received in dividends last year.

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