Chair in African Philanthropy

Practical study and relevant insights on pan-African philanthropy for learners, investors and organisations

Gifting is an age-old practice in Africa and plays a central role in most communities across the continent. The Wits Business School Chair in African Philanthropy, a joint initiative with the Southern Africa Trust, is the first of its kind on the continent.  

It is dedicated to advancing the cause of philanthropy and social investment across the continent by better understanding the function of gifting within the populations where businesses operate.


The WBS Chair in African Philanthropy brings African-inspired, practically relevant study to the area and role of African philanthropy, contributing to the teaching curriculum as well researching and educating about practical ways of engaging in effective socially-inspired economic initiatives.  It aligns with the Wits Business School approach of ensuring business is fully aware of the values and dynamics of the societies in which they operate, in this instance, the richness of gifting that underpins the resilience of African societies.  This addition to the School’s programmes will bring you and your organisation closer to the energy that drives peoples’ daily lives, relationships and decision making.

The WBS Chair in African Philanthropy, in partnership with the Southern Africa Trust, held its inaugural working seminar in March 2016 to co-design a chair around four themes: teaching, research, outreach to diverse audiences and the difficult issue of measuring performance. Policymakers, public, private and civil society leaders, academics, foundations and social and philanthropic investors from across the continent were engaged in this participatory process.  A full chair profile will be published in 2016.