There are no doubts that Africa is filled with numerous philanthropists. A charitable atmosphere is spread across the continent and in the last ten years, there have been a lot of new charity foundations and scholarship opportunities launched. Rich people do not only spend and invest money but try to help others to become a better version of themselves. Let’s see who the most famous, kind-hearted philanthropists in Nigeria are.
The top Nigerian billionaires not only spend their money on the own needs but also invest in the youths. They work on making the country better and stronger.
The need to reach out to youths and those, who struggle with opening their own business is quite common these days. In addition, Nigerian businessmen also help those who have no opportunity to fund their own studies. These efforts are aimed at contributing to society’s development.
Here, you can see the list of Nigeria’s top billionaires who inspire the young Nigerians to initiate some philanthropic initiatives themselves. The nation is looking forward to having a new generation of young leaders who will bring about great change in the country. Let’s take a look at the people making a difference.
Top 5 philanthropists in Nigeria
The former Nigerian Defence Minister and Chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum has already donated over $100 million to charities. The TY Danjuma Foundation is considered to be one of Africa’s largest charity organizations and Theophilus Danjuma himself is regarded as Nigeria's top philanthropist.
The TY Danjuma Foundation provides grants to some partners and non-governmental organizations in the fields of education, poverty alleviation, policy advocacy and free healthcare. TY Danjuma Foundation motivates individuals and private organizations as well to contribute to the civil society’s development. He pays a lot of attention to effective investment in the Nigerian youths as they are the future of the nation.
The Foundation’s biggest projects are the After Graduate Development Center (AGDC), which helps undergraduate students in the University of Benin; a project implemented in the university called ‘Work Intelligent Nigerian Graduate’ (WINGS); and another project created in cooperation with Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) which is aimed at working with Nigerian women and young girls in Edo state. The largest project implemented is “Young Girls/Women Leadership and Mentoring (YGWLM)”. In partnership with the African Women and Youth Organization (AWYO), the foundation created the “Graduate Integration Programme (GIP)” in Abuja.
His $5million investment in a very small, almost dying bank was not the mistake at all. Two decades later, the weak and useless bank got transformed into the global, successful UBA bank. Tony Elumelu became the CEO of UBA and now shares his ideas and motivation with a smart and energetic generation of African entrepreneurs. He created the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) to have an impact on the development of African continent and focus on supporting young entrepreneurs in Africa.
Tony Elumelu even came up with the special term ‘Africapitalism’, emphasizing the importance of competitiveness in the private sector. Elumelu sets the UBA bank as an example for all young businessmen, saying that this project helped him to establish the pan-African financial institution which now creates jobs for more than 25,000 employees.
"Imagine if we created 1000 domestic pan-African companies like UBA in Africa – now that is the impact. That is what drives me and that is why we started the Foundation,” he says of his philanthropic drive.
Tony Elumelu Foundation is assisting more than 1000 leading African SMEs to grow into global business and secure prosperity and wealth for both employees and employers. He also mentioned that it is possible to build a world-class business school in Nigeria and provide knowledge in energy, real estate, agribusiness, and hospitality sectors.
Kola Aluko is a self-made and very ambitious billionaire whose business interests are concentrated mostly in oil, gas, and aviation sectors. Kola Aluko has a great passion for motorsports.
Kola is now 45-year-old and Forbes Africa has already ranked him as one of the 40th Richest Africans. It seems that Kola does not only want to be on the list of richest, successful African entrepreneurs but a role model for other people. His Kola Aluko Foundation has a great impact on not only Nigerian youths but all young dreamers on the African continent. His foundation does a lot for young talent to be heard and mostly help artist and musicians.
"From an early age, I was very ambitious and I always knew I wanted to work for myself,” says the Co-Chief Officer and Executive Director of Atlantic Energy; while also advising youths that “the key is focus, focus and again focus. Identify the things you are good at, your strengths, and get to work on your weaknesses.”
The foundation sponsored the Nigerian Centenary Photography Exhibition in London and afterward Kola Aluko co-founded the ‘Made in Africa (MiAF)’ project in cooperation with Ghanaian fashion designer, Oswald Boateng. MiAF was launched only four years ago but has already set the record as Africa's largest infrastructure investment ever made by the private businessman.
Rochas grew up on the dirty streets of Jos in Northern Nigeria and from the early years, understood that only the hard work, determination and courage can give him a better life.
Okorocha is the governor of Imo State and the founder of the Rochas Foundation. The foundation works on assisting ambitious young Nigerians to get the education which they can not afford.
The Rochas Foundation mostly focuses on the younger group of children and provides the educational activities, as well as health and social help. The foundation builds schools in Nigeria which offers the free tuition to the poor and underprivileged children across Nigeria.
Over the past years, the Rochas foundation has put a lot of effort into making children appreciate studies and life itself. Today, Rochas has a record of more than 6000 children, who receive absolutely free education in secondary schools in Owerri, Ibadan, Gboko, Jos, and Kano states. In the near future, the Foundation is going to build a tuition-free university.
Funso is the only female philanthropist on the list but not the least in terms of success. She is ranked by Forbes as the world’s richest African woman and Nigeria's first female billionaire. Her net worth is more than $2.5 billion and her recent motto is “as much of my life as I could to encourage people, to encourage others to get to where they should be, where they want to be.”
As a woman, it is not easy to reach the height of success as Funso did. But it is even harder to lead the life of philanthropist and manage your own business in the same time. Funso focuses on helping primarily women and young people. Her charity foundation is called the Rose of Sharon Foundation (ROSF) and its main goal is to help widows and orphans, through creating a common network.
Alakija, being the CEO of the Rose of Sharon Group, has helped more than 2,751 widows and 963 widows’ children. These days, her foundation’s next aim is to help set up some schools in those areas in Nigeria, where the women struggle to combine the work and studies.
Alakija believes in the success of this idea, saying: “it’s a land flowing with opportunities, land flowing with milk and honey. It has its challenges, its faults, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and we all have to come together to build our nation.”
The Nigerian businessmen are true inspiration for a lot of young Nigerians. While some billionaires do not focus on charitable activities, these top 5 philanthropists aim to make the country better. They launched their own foundation to make Nigeria and African continent more prosperous and its inhabitants happier. If you want to make the world and Nigeria a better place, start with yourself now and do what you can to give back.
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