Meet the Advisory Board: Mamadou Biteye on Inclusive Social Investment

Mamadou-Biteye

Meet the Advisory Board: Mamadou Biteye on Inclusive Social Investment

 

Mamadou-BiteyeMamadou Biteye is Head of Social Impact at Visa for Central Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa who started his career as an agricultural economist in Senegal, which, he believes, predestined him to work with lower-income and vulnerable communities, intersecting with corporates, entrepreneurs, and social work.

 

His first, nearly 30 years ago, was managing and coordinating a financial inclusion programme, aimed at helping people excluded from formal financial services, mainly women, youth, and smallholder farmers. The bank required him to make secure loans while meeting business performance indicators, however, he found he was tasked to help a sector of people who couldn’t fit into this space.

“I saw, very quickly, that the institution I was working at, trying to drive this financial inclusion programme, was not the appropriate vehicle.”

This was when a shift occurred, so he started searching for alternative solutions that could provide more suitable financial services to the unbanked. The process took him back to school, where he earned a Masters’ degree in Rural Finance on a scholarship at Ohio State University, United States.

 

“This is what has allowed me to be able to make a humble contribution to financial inclusion, by coming up with new programmes, innovative programmes that were more sustainable to the context and needs of populations in West Africa.”

 

Joining the non-profit sector, Mamadou drove various programmes, like savings-led micro-finance and ROSCA (Rotating Savings and Credit Associations), which helped hundreds of thousands of women access to finance. Formal banks have changed very little in their way of serving low-income individuals, and small and micro-entrepreneurs. While FinTech companies have filled this gap by leveraging technology to provide credit, insurance, and capacity building, they are set up to scale to serve the masses across the globe. The ecosystem has changed, with new players bringing tailored solutions to the communities in need, but their reach and scale are still limited. The role of CAPSI in this field, specifically its research, is especially important.

 

Today, the private sector and philanthropy sector players have many resources, but the good ideas that can be executed at scale are difficult to find. The theoretical and practical research that CAPSI does provides valuable insights, proof points and experiences that can be shared with the philanthropy community. That also makes necessary the building of a business case for market-based solutions. The corporate world sees that social impact is no longer a ‘nice to have’, not just CSI – it’s about embedding purpose and social impact into their vision, products, solutions, services etc. Much of our space enables philanthropy and social impact from corporates.

“The research generated by CAPSI should also serve governments and policymakers, to make the regulatory reforms and have the right programmes that enable the growth and sustainability of philanthropy, as well as its modernisation.”

 

Convening seminars, platforms or round tables would do more for advocacy based on the evidence from the research, and also so that the potential consumers of the research results can be engaged. In general, CAPSI focuses on African philanthropy, which is quite different from other more modern or western philanthropy efforts. It’s easy to give money when you have a lot of it, and while this is commendable, there are those that do not have a lot but are always willing to share. The latter characterises a more ‘African’ philanthropy and solidarity.

 

The way Mamadou sees it, CAPSI has two challenges:

  • How to document stories and research of African philanthropy, so it can educate and inspire the world?
  • How to make the philanthropy and social and investment field more efficient and accessible for wider learning?

Philanthropy does not only come from the rich. “We are not just recipients in Africa, we give and share with the little we have,” says Mamadou. Indeed all forms of small donations, solidarity and support are more sustainable forms of philanthropy and social investment.

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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.