Welcome to our first official newsletter which we have put together to keep you up-to-date with news and research emerging from the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI).


Following the launch of the Chair in African Philanthropy at Wits Business School (WBS) in 2016, efforts were made, during 2018, towards establishing and developing a “Centre on Philanthropy and Social Investment” at the school.  Since then, the Centre (CAPSI) has made tremendous progress. We now have two full time staff members, two graduate assistants, a visiting researcher, an Honorary Professor and ten associate researchers.  The latest addition to the CAPSI family is our administrator, Thandi Makhubele, who started in October 2019 after a long search.


Dr Bhekinkosi Moyo

Keratiloe Mogotsi

Prof Alan Fowler

Dr Susan Wilkinson Maposa

Wycliffe Ouma

Thandi Makhubele



Name Change:

 The Centre changed its name from African Centre on Philanthropy and Social Investment (ACPSI) to Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI).


Advisory and Editorial Boards

An advisory board was constituted to assist with strategic issues. The board comprises 18 members (nine female and nine male) drawn from the UK, USA, Egypt, Belgium, Ethiopia, Germany, The Gambia, Senegal, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. They are all experienced individuals in academia, research and practice in the field of philanthropy. In addition, an editorial board was also created, consisting of 16 members drawn from institutions in Australia, Fiji, Kenya, India, South Africa, Senegal, USA, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon.


Students at CAPSI

By November 2019, ten students had registered with CAPSI. Of those, two are Master’s students and eight are doctoral students (three of these are newly admitted and the rest joined at the beginning of the year). Most of our students have received financial support for their research projects. There are five females and three males in the PhD programme, and two males in the Master’s programme, and they come from various African countries, including Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.


Research Reports

CAPSI commissioned eight research projects in 2019, focusing on topics that included community philanthropy, disaster management, social investment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) foundations, and scoping studies in various countries. These reports were reviewed by experienced academics and were validated at a workshop In Johannesburg in May.  Some of the papers were presented at the annual conference that the Centre hosted jointly with the Harvard Centre for African Studies, Trust Africa and the Africa Philanthropy Forum on 16 and 17 May at Wits Business School. The reports are in preparation to publish in the African Philanthropy Journal which the Centre is in the process of developing.


Training through PhD seminars

The Centre held a two-day training workshop for PhD students in research methods, writing, publishing and critical thinking, among others. In collaboration with the International Society for Third Sector Research (www.istr.org), a team of seven professors convened in the fields of third sector studies, civil society and philanthropy, to review the applications and serve as faculty members. The academics came from Australia, Egypt, USA, South Africa, Ghana and Germany. The seminar took place on 14 and 15 May 2019 at WBS.  The faculty were diverse, as were the students. Of the 23 students, five were from East Africa, five from West Africa, six from USA and Europe, and seven were from Southern Africa. An evaluation of the seminar indicated that most students found the seminar both interesting and beneficial.


The Centre also exposed five of its students to an international PhD seminar and conference in Nairobi, Kenya, which was jointly organised by ARNOVA, AROCSA and Strathmore University.  One of the female students in the PhD programme was also admitted as a Doctoral Fellow at the Arnova conference in San Diego California 20 – 23 November. The student was sponsored by the conference to participate in the PhD seminar.


The Launch of Research Projects

CAPSI launched two big research projects in 2019, focusing on the first 26 big economies in Africa. The first project is a scoping and analysis of the high net worth Individuals and their philanthropic activities in Africa. The research team gathered at Wits Business School on 20 September for a research design workshop. The second is a scoping of the philanthropic landscape and infrastructure for philanthropy in Africa. We have commissioned ten researchers to work on these two projects.

 First Annual Philanthropy Conference

 The Centre partnered with the Harvard Centre for African Studies, TrustAfrica, Southern Africa Trust, Higher Life Foundation and the African Philanthropy Forum to host the first annual conference on philanthropy in Africa. The conference, which was well attended, took place on 16 and 17 May at WBS.  Speakers were drawn from various countries around the world and across multiple disciplines. Of interest were panels that looked at the new forms of giving such as arts, museums, and archives, among others; the new presidential foundations on law and philanthropy, just to mention a few. We planned the conference in such a way that it built on the research and PhD seminar.


Daily Maverick Newspaper Article:

An article on African philanthropy was written for the Daily Maverick (an independent, daily online newspaper) by Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong from Harvard and Dr Bhekinkosi Moyo from CAPSI.  https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-06-19-the-century-of-the-african-philanthropists-is-here-but-wise-choices-must-be-made/


Disaster Management Dialogue

CAPSI, in partnership with the Graça Machel Trust and the Mandela Institute for Development (MINDS), hosted a Dialogue on Disaster Management on 19 July.  The Dialogue focused on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth and the devastation those two events wrought in Southern Africa in March and April, 2019.  The Dialogue was attended by 176 participants, including Mrs Graça Machel, the South African Department of Defence, the business community and various international agencies.

A Celebration of “Africanness” Gala Dinner

CAPSI and its partners the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) hosted a Pan-African evening of celebration on 7 November at Wits University, Johannesburg. The aim of the event was to celebrate the continent and its people, to inspire a movement of “unity in our diversity” and to encourage us to work towards the Africa we want.  Speakers and guests at the event included:  The NEPAD Goodwilll Ambassador for TB and Nutrition Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Humanitarian and Activist  Graça Machel, Trustee of The Mandela Institute for Development Studies Ali Mufuruki, Professor of Law in the Centre for Human Rights and Development Studies at the University of Pretoria Prof Charles Ngwenya,  Director of Programme Innovation and Planning at the African Union Development Agency- NEPAD Estherine Fotabong, Author, Public speaker and Professor of Sociology Prof Kwesi Prah and the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Wits University Professor Andrew Crouch.

PGDip Development Workshop 

Finally, CAPSI collaborated with Inyathelo (The South African Institute for Advancement) to develop an Advanced Diploma in Advancement and Resource Mobilisation. The Centre hosted a two-day curriculum development workshop together with Wits Business School and Inyathelo on 5 November, the aim of which was to develop content for our new Postgraduate Diploma.



2019 has been a full and exciting year for CAPSI.  We have much to be proud of in consolidating the Centre and what it stands for.  We welcome our new staff members and researchers who are proving to be a vital cog in the wheel of this burgeoning and vital new field.  We are looking forward to another year of pan-African consultation, discussion, engagement, research and networking as we join forces towards our common vision of “the Africa we want”.

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