Home » Meet the four African billionaires who signed The Giving Pledge

Meet the four African billionaires who signed The Giving Pledge

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Patrice Motsepe

The Giving Pledge is a commitment made by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals to donate most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. It was launched in 2010 by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who invited other billionaires to pledge to donate at least half of their wealth during their lifetimes or in their wills.

The Giving Pledge is not a legally binding contract but a moral commitment based on the idea that those fortunate enough to accumulate enormous wealth should deploy their resources to positively impact society and address issues in their immediate communities.

The pledge is open to billionaires worldwide, and it encourages participants to publicly share their commitment to inspiring others to engage in philanthropy.

Pledge signatories can choose which causes and organizations they support, allowing them to focus on issues that resonate with their values and interests.

Since its inception, The Giving Pledge has attracted participation from prominent individuals and families, including business tycoons, entrepreneurs, and investors.

By encouraging the world’s wealthiest individuals to dedicate a significant portion of their wealth to philanthropy, the initiative aims to foster a culture of giving and contribute to positive social change on a global scale.

While more than 200 billionaires worldwide have signed the pledge, only 4 Africans have. Meet the four African billionaires who have signed The Giving Pledge so far: 

Patrice Motsepe 

Nationality: South African

In 2013, South African billionaire mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe became the first African to sign the Giving Pledge. He promised to give away half the income generated from assets owned by his family to his Motsepe Family Foundation. In Motsepe’s statement, he stated: “Precious [his wife] and I will contribute at least half of the funds generated by our family assets to the Motsepe Foundation to be used during our lifetime and beyond to improve the lifestyles and living conditions of the poor, disabled, unemployed, women, youth, workers and marginalized South Africans, Africans and people around the world.” Read Motsepe’s The Giving Pledge letter here.

Mo Ibrahim

Nationality: Sudanese/British

The billionaire telecom tycoon signed the pledge in 2013. In Ibrahim’s statement, he said: “While economic aid and relief efforts for Africa are wonderful and commendable acts of solidarity, we need to change the way our countries are run. I hope that my foundation can help change mindsets and place Governance and Leadership at the heart of the international development debate.” His Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which he established in 2006, has one focus: the critical importance of governance and leadership for Africa. Read his letter here.

Mohammed Dewji

Nationality: Tanzanian

Tanzania’s richest man and Africa’s youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji signed the pledge in 2016, promising to give away at least half of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

“Having witnessed severe poverty throughout my upbringing, I have always felt a deep responsibility to give back to my community,” Dewji wrote in his The Giving Pledge letter, which is available here

Dewji is the CEO of METL Group, a large conglomerate with operations in East and Southern Africa. His Mo Dewji Foundation focuses on education, healthcare, clean water accessibility, and community development in Tanzania. It operates several programs and implements projects that provide services and support for needy community members.

Strive Masiyiwa 

Nationality: Zimbabwean 

Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa signed the pledge in 2014. The Higher Life Foundation, which he founded with his wife, Tsiti, in 1996, pays the school fees of thousands of children in Southern Africa. They are also the founders of Delta Philanthropies, a UK-registered charity that funds Africa’s education, health, rural transformation, and disaster relief programs. “In making this pledge to give not less than 50 percent of the funds we receive from our family assets through charitable donations and philanthropy, we are fulfilling what the Apostle Paul said in Acts 20:35 concerning giving: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” the Masiyiwas said in their statement. 

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