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Publishing rigorous research with an African lens

One of our Centre’s goals is to build a body of knowledge on Philanthropy, Social Investment and related disciplines. In fulfilling this, we work with a community of Research Associates who have specialised in various fields and bring a contextual and African narrative to their work. Our Research Associates are commissioned to publish articles and research papers which meet our academic rigour while providing insights into topics that further the development of philanthropy and social investment on the continent.

Meet some of our Research Associates


Asabea Ahwireng-Obeng



Asabea is a finance and investment scholar, with special interest in bond markets in emerging countries, particularly in Africa. This was the focus of her PhD research that she successfully defended at Wits University in 2016.



How did your association with the Centre start?

“My interaction with CAPSI began with my role as an assistant to Professor Emeritus Frederick Ahwireng-Obeng, who was the consultant charged with preparing the syllabus for the postgraduate Diploma in Philanthropy at the Centre. This was a challenging task that required a lot of reading on philanthropy in general and relevant courses offered by leading institutions worldwide. By the end of the assignment, which was assessed by local and international stakeholders, I had become not only well drenched in the subject but also particularly interested in the philanthropy-finance and investment-African development interfaces. Since I started working with CAPSI I have expanded the scope of my research interests to include philanthropy and development. This has resulted in some of my work being published in prestigious international journals. One of my studies, titled “Macroeconomic determinants of sovereign bond market development in African emerging economies”, was published in the International Journal of Emerging Markets and the Journal of African Business. I have three papers published by the Centre and accept frequent requests from continental journals to serve as a reviewer.”


How are you using the experience gained in your own country?

“I am currently involved with a newly established international educational NGO whose research and consulting interests in philanthropy-related themes on Africa complements my work at CAPSI. I am also working on three papers for co-publication with Professor Ahwireng-Obeng. My interaction with the Centre has elucidated the intricate and unique roles that philanthropy plays in finance and investment. I have since developed a deep appreciation of the discipline, particularly where African development is concerned.”


What advice would you give someone looking to get onto the philanthropy and development sector?

“My advice to anyone contemplating working in the philanthropy and development areas is that the prospects are great but will require an entrepreneurial mindset that is willing to explore and innovate.”


Emmanuel Kumi



Emmanuel is Fellow at the Centre for Social Policy at the University of Ghana whose research interests are in African philanthropy, civil society organisations, NGO management, civic space, lobby and advocacy as well as the political economy of development. He holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Bath, United Kingdom.



Please highlight your journey where African philanthropy is concerned.

“My research has focused on civil society organisations and their resource mobilisation. I am interested in exploring how these organisations mobilise alternative resources, including African philanthropy, to ensure their short-term survival and long-term sustainability especially in countries experiencing a decline in external donor funding. My interest in African philanthropy is also informed directly by my association with CAPSI. I have been involved in research projects on African philanthropy such as mapping African philanthropic organisations and the role of African philanthropy in responding to COVID-19 and development goals in Africa.”


How has your association with CAPSI helped you in this journey?

“My association with the Centre has created an opportunity to network with other scholars working on African philanthropy and civil society organisations in general. This helps in sharing knowledge and ideas on the subject.”


How are you ploughing back the knowledge you have gained/are gaining in your home country?

“I have been leading some research projects and discussions that seek to promote knowledge on African philanthropy in the context of Ghana and other African countries. I believe this will help in contributing to the emerging literature on African philanthropy as well as information that is relevant in influencing policymakers and national development.”


What advice would you give someone looking to get onto the philanthropy and development sector?

“Anyone interested in philanthropy should be motivated by passion.”


Arsène Brice Bado


Arsène the Vice President for Academic Affairs and International Cooperation at the Centre for Research and Action for Peace (CERAP)/Jesuit University in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire where he also teaches political science and international relations. His research interests include democracy, ethnic pluralism, conflict analysis, forced migration, electoral processes in conflict-ridden societies, and philanthropy. 


Please highlight your journey where African philanthropy is concerned.

“My interest in philanthropy started when I was in primary school where I volunteered to raise funding for cultural and sporting activities. I continued to participate in fundraising activities in high school and university. But it was only during my master’s degree studies in Social Ethics and Theology at Boston College that I had the opportunity to take a course in communication and fundraising. This course allowed me to reflect on my previous fundraising activities and philanthropy. In 2010, I was appointed to lead the Jesuit Office of Development of the West Africa Province whose mission is to raise funding and coordinate communication toward actual and potential benefactors. In this capacity, I visited other Jesuit offices of development in different provinces in the USA and received practical training on how to communicate with philanthropists and philanthropic foundations. In addition, during my doctoral studies in political science and international relations, I researched on topics such as philanthropy, humanitarian aid, foreign aid toward developing countries, postcolonial states and development assistance, which led to my dissertation titled ‘Foreign Electoral Assistance as a Tool for Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Societies’.”


What influenced your decision to work with the Centre?

“The fact that philanthropy is an important activity in most African societies. However, the subject remains largely understudied in academia. Most publications on philanthropy in Africa were produced by non-Africa-based researchers and research institutions. Therefore, there’s a need for African scholars to take the challenge of philanthropy in Africa seriously and share their own locally sourced research on the issue. I was excited to learn about the existence of CAPSI through the Carnegie Corporation of New York. To my knowledge, CAPSI is the only Africa-based research centre on philanthropy. Because of this, I am honoured to be a research associate for the Centre and I hope to contribute to the research on philanthropy in francophone African countries.”


How does your professional role tie in with the Centre?

“CERAP is a teaching and research institution focused on social sciences. As such, philanthropy is a relevant topic for the institution. Undeniably, the practice has played an important role not only in alleviating human suffering, but also in socio-economic development, the evolution of science, and development of culture and the arts. Philanthropy has also emerged as an indispensable practice alongside the action of public authorities and private companies. That is why my work and research at CERAP is consistent with my commitment to my work at CAPSI. I hope that the Centre will help develop a research unit on philanthropy in francophone countries at CERAP to foster interest in the subject by francophone researchers.”


How are you using the experience and knowledge you are gaining in your own country?

“Thanks to CAPSI, I have undertaken an important survey on philanthropists and philanthropic foundations across five francophone countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Gabon and Chad. More importantly, philanthropy is now taught in my courses at CERAP and students can write their papers on the topic. I hope that this will foster their intellectual curiosity where this subject matter is concerned and that a community of researchers interested in philanthropy would emerge in the coming years.”


What advice would you give someone looking to get onto the philanthropy and development sector?

“My advice would be to take the specificity of each society seriously while dealing with issues related to philanthropy and development. As a phenomenon of society, the modes of expression and organisation of philanthropy are profoundly marked by the cultures of the societies in which they unfold. That is why several studies are needed to map out and understand philanthropic practices in diverse African societies to find the best ways to harness philanthropic practices for the development of our societies. Therefore, I encourage African researchers and policymakers to give more attention to philanthropy, which could be a way to take care of our problems using our own resources.”

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mott foundation

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.

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