Whose Agenda? Power and Philanthropy in Africa?

By Halima Mahomed and Bhekinkosi Moyo

Courtesy of www.alliancemagazine.org

‘The dilemma of the poor is not about resources. It is about power. If the poor have power, they will leverage the resources needed.’ Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor, University of Witwatersrand

Adam Habib’s remark, made at the 2012 African Grantmakers Network Assembly on The Role of African Philanthropy in Shifting Power from North to South, is a stark reminder to us of the need to change the way we view the relationship between resources and power. In our philanthropy world, too often power is equated with money, and the one who holds the money dictates the agenda. For philanthropic agencies, the dilemma is how to ensure that their resources are not used as tools of power and control.

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