Cambridge University Establishes Centre on Impact of Philanthropy for Nigeria, Others

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Peter Uzoho

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School dedicated to examining strategic philanthropy within and from Nigeria and the world’s highest-growth markets, including Africa, Developing Asia, and the Middle East.

The centre comes at a time when philanthropy’s role in building social and environmental resilience is seen as increasingly essential.

Through a combination of rigorous research, executive education and the convening of diverse stakeholders, the centre aims to become the leading hub of actionable knowledge to catalyse even greater philanthropic impact from Nigeria and the world’s fastest growing regions.

It will also work with relevant institutions and practitioners in these regions in order to encourage collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and insights.

The centre is being launched in the midst of a fourth wave of globalisation that is resulting in a reallocation of economic power southward and eastward.

Announcing the development in a statement issued yesterday, the founders of the centre noted that in 2019, the top 30 fastest growing economies in the world were all in emerging markets.

They estimated that many trillions of dollars would be passed on from one generation to the next in these regions over the next 10 years, with close to $2 trillion wealth transfer by 2030 within Asia alone.

According to them, Nigeria already has a proud tradition of giving with many of its wealthy individuals setting up foundations and donating money to a range of causes.

They added that the historic period of new wealth creation and intergenerational wealth transfer was expected to lead to a significant increase in philanthropic activity both within and from Nigeria and other fast-growing economies.

However, the activities of the new centre, according to them, would span three key areas of research, education and training, as well as convening diverse voices.

Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Badr Jafar, said: “Today, well over a trillion dollars of private philanthropic capital, more than triple the annual global development and humanitarian aid budgets combined, is deployed every single year,” Jafar stated.

Jafar noted that there was also an overwhelming evidence that Nigeria and the world’s other emerging economies were becoming an increasingly powerful source of philanthropic capital and social innovation.

The founding patron said with the impending generational transition taking place around the world, it was crucial to properly understand the diverse approaches to philanthropy that exist in these markets, and the local and regional factors that have shaped them.

“Transparency, technology and evolving attitudes toward wealth are reshaping donors’ approaches to giving worldwide. We will likely fail to address the myriad of challenges on the global agenda over the next decade without making a much greater effort to c