Building a Culture of Effective Giving and Corporate Social Responsibility
The Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI), the first of its kind in Africa, is structured to promote social change by building a culture of effective giving and corporate social and civic responsibility.
It serves as a source of knowledge, a cultivator of partnerships, and a catalyst for innovation and community engagement. The centre aspires to build a new cadre of African experts, researchers and academics in African Philanthropy, Social Investment, and related disciplines.
In the early 2000s, various African philanthropy foundations identified a need for the generation of knowledge to effectively promote the teaching, research, and practice of philanthropy, in Africa. This led to the establishment of the African Philanthropy Network (AFN) in 2009. In 2014, the Southern Africa Trust – a member of the APN and the University of Witwatersrand – collaborated to establish the first Chair of Philanthropy, a pivotal step in the journey towards setting up the Centre on Philanthropy and Social Investment. The Centre houses several initiatives such as research fellowships, executive courses, PhD seminars, conferences, and summer school.
Bridging the gap in the study, research and practice of philanthropy and social investment in Africa.
By formalising research, dialogue and publications and creating a consolidated, central platform for accessing this content, CAPSI hopes to address the following issues:
- The lack of formal documentation of African philanthropic activity.
- The knowledge gap created by the lack of dissemination of literature generated within Africa.
- The predominance of literature about African philanthropy that is either external or Western-based.
- The lack of a pan-African narrative.
The Goals of the Centre
- Teaching of philanthropy and social investment in Africa; and the development of a cohort of experts in the field.
- Conducting of research on philanthropy and social investment in Africa and wider dissemination and sharing of knowledge.
- Positively impacting society through innovative research and social entrepreneurship.
- Growing a rich network of local communities, policymakers, start-ups, foundations, enterprises, and NGOs.
- Applying a pan-African perspective on the practice of giving, acquiring knowledge, and developing theories, models, and tools appropriate to the continent’s experience, contemporary context, and needs.
- Consolidating and formalising the teaching and research material, to make it accessible to African practitioners, captains of industry, CSR practitioners, students, and the civil society sector.
- Aiding the next generation of philanthropic scholars, by connecting them with social activists, donors, and philanthropy professionals.
- Training of practitioners on philanthropy and social investment in Africa for an effective management of the sector and resources.
The Objectives of the Centre
- Promoting and furthering an understanding of the role of philanthropy and social investment in Africa and how these are practised by individuals, communities, and private sector organisations.
- Identifying and addressing key players, strengthening their capabilities for analysis, management, and governance.
- Developing academic networks through workshops, conferences, and community outreach.
- Increasing quality theoretical and applied research.
- Building a cohort of academic and practitioner experts and leaders.
- Advancing informed and evidence‐based policies.
- Providing a teaching curriculum at postgraduate level.