Meet the Advisory Board Member: Gerry Salole

Gerry Salole

Now working as an Independent Consultant, Gerry Salole is the former Chief Executive of the European Foundation Centre, in Brussels. Using his vast experience in international development, he now focuses on helping other organisations with projects, strategy, and trends. 


As a trained Social Anthropologist, Gerry sidestepped an academic career when he accepted a job working with Oxfam Ethiopia where he was subsequently seconded to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)on a project repatriating Somalian refugees in Ethiopia. The experience he gained showed him the gaps that (still) exist between organisations wanting to help, but not always addressing the real needs of people.  


His work in development has taken him all over the world: Ford Foundation in South Africa, Bernard van Leer Foundation in The Hague, and various organisations in the USA, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia, but Gerry says his ‘real’ work experience was gained in Africa. He has seen first-hand the serious impact that refugee camps have on children, and how the parents are very aware of the problems and are willing to communicate these, if someone would listen 

“Most of the people in this business are social engineers, they want to do good and they think they have the answers. The real answers are the people – they know what they need and how they need to do it. And if you listen properly, you may be able to help, but you can’t engineer it for them.” 

While his studies in anthropology helped him to ask the right questions, and listen, it didn’t really provide the answersTo him, anthropology is not a discipline that studies people, it studies with people – he calls himself a ‘participant observer’. Gerry believes that an academic approach is too ‘purist’ to have a real impact. Too much emphasis on qualification, rather than lived experience, is part of the problem in this field.  

“You can’t go in with your own vision of what is happening – you have to actually let the story, the narrative, emerge from the context you’re in.” 

He supports the work that CAPSI is achieving: marrying the tools of academia with real context and not letting one lead the other or become superimposed on one another. Gerry believes that to do better work, development workers need to get better at learning the lessons and listening to what has happened in the past.  


The focus on development in Africa has changed – it’s less about development per se, and more about business, startups and entrepreneurs. There is a recognition that it’s not about receiving handouts or charity – rather about making the available resources work for you. Gerry uses the term bricoleur (someone who is able to create using whatever materials are available), to define the type of skills that are needed in the development field, rather than the typical ‘engineer’ type skillset, one using blueprints or preconceived solutions.    


CAPSI’s placement within a business school provides an opportunity for people to pay more attention to institutions that are embedded in African society. African philanthropy is part of ordinary life, like the Rotating Credit Association and stokvels in South Africa – these are important tools that have been imagined, adopted, and maintained by the people, really owned, yet they are often ignored.  

“I’m hoping that there is going to be a way in which to validate what people do, because they don’t do them for no reason; they don’t do them by accident.” 

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The Carnegie corporation of new york

Established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations and promotes the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

Their work focuses on international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

The corporation supports CAPSI with research and development of a new cohort of scholars.

The Charles mott foundation

An automotive pioneer, philanthropist, and leader in the community, Charles Stewart Mott cared about innovation, fairness, and communities.

By working toward a world where each individual’s quality of life is connected to the well-being of the community, both locally and globally, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation continues this legacy.

A founding funder of the Centre, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supported the establishment of the Chair and continues to support our programmes.

The Ford Foundation

As an investor in transformative ideas, individuals and institutions, the Ford Foundations is one of the founding funders of CAPSI.

They have supported the planning and establishment of the centre and continue to support our programmes and operations.

Their invaluable work includes providing grants, investing in individuals through fellowships, and challenging inequalities through civic engagement, creativity, free expression and more.

The southern africa trust

Established in 2005 to respond to high levels of poverty and inequality, the Southern Africa Trust aims to increase the voices and agency of the poor.

This is in the hopes that it enables them to reach the necessary audiences and influence regional public policies as unrepresented stakeholders.

They are a founding partner of CAPSI and acted as a fiscal sponsor for Mott and Ford grants in the establishment of the Chair.

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Susan Maposa

With 22 years of professional experience in Africa and Asia, Susan Maposa has developed a wide range of skills and expertise in the fields of philanthropy and social development.

This has established her as a leader in her work with multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and universities as well as consultancy firms. Her experience includes programme conceptualisation, design, management, implementation, evaluation and documentation.

She describes herself as a “pracademic”, and is passionate about working across the field of theory and development practice building one into the other. Read Susan’s complete bio and an excerpt from her research project.

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma is a PhD candidate and a Research Assistant at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg.

Mr. Nduga has worked as a Research Associate with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, a Central Bank of Kenya Research Institute mainly concerned with the Monetary Policy, Exchange Rates Movements, and Balance of Payments. He has also consulted and conducted training on Financial Markets and Investments for Organizations such as Knight Frank Commercial and Residential Properties in Kenya. He was part of the broad team that conducted research and wrote the Integrated Economic and Development Plan (Document) for Turkana County, a regional government authority in Kenya.

For the better part of 2017, Mr. Nduga consulted in the Finance and Accounts Department for the Italian Chamber of Trade and Industry, Johannesburg. Currently, alongside the PhD dissertation, Mr. Nduga assists in Teaching and Facilitation of the Financial Investments Decisions for the MBA students, Finance and Accounting, Financial Risk Management, Research on the Connection Between Finance and Corporate Philanthropy, and advising on research and classwork for MBA and Master students at the Wits Business.

He has a passion for research and consultancy in the areas of Financial Markets, Financial Risk Modelling, Investments and International Trade.

Keratiloe Mogotsi

Pan Africanist, pracademic, researcher, lean six sigma coach, project management professional and African Philanthropy Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand — Keratiloe Mogotsi does it all.

She is currently a lecturer here at the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment at the Wits Business School. Her research areas include disaster philanthropy in Africa, venture philanthropy, African philanthropy and philanthro-capitalism in Africa.

As someone who is passionate about the continent and its people, she uses her skills as an educator and coach to excel in everything that she does.

Alan Fowler

As a co-founder and long-time associate of INTRAC, Alan Fowler’s professional life has seen many changes. From being an Organisational Development Advisor, Foundation Programme Officer and Researcher, he is now an academic as he serves as an honorary professor and Chair in African Philanthropy, a role the first of its kind, at the Wits Business School. 

A career spanning some forty years devoted to civic agencies and NGOs has produced eleven books and dozens of papers about their role in international development, as well as numerous capacity building materials, conference presentations, lectures, and seminars. Combining theory and practice as a ‘pracademic’ continues as the thread in his contribution to citizen-driven social justice.

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Dr Bheki Moyo is a writer, author, researcher and thought-leader with keen interest in questions of African resources, democracy and governance.

In addition to championing the African discourse on philanthropy, he has contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and participated in most African processes of development and governance.

Over the course of his career, he has written extensively about African philanthropy, civil society, and governance. Additionally, he has extensive experience in leadership, management, and strategic roles.

Xolani Dlamini

As an experienced Digital Publisher specialising in academic/scholarly publishing, particularly Open Access journals, Xolani Dlamini has been involved in managing and publishing various academic journals in different fields of study.

Thandi Makhubele

Thandi Makhubele, the current Programme Manager (Acting) at CAPSI, joined us from the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) where she worked for twelve years in various departments, including TV News and Current Affairs and Supply Chain and Legal services.

She holds an Honours Degree in International Relations and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Security at the Wits School of Governance with a focus on Philanthropy and Women’s development.

In addition to volunteering with Hand of Compassion, providing help to young pregnant women and displaced women, she hopes to bring her passion for human development, security, and creativity to the Centre.