It is with great pleasure and pride that we can now announce the winner of the fourth Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize: Bhekinkosi Moyo, executive director of the Southern Africa Trust and chair of the Africa Philanthropy Network.
In a continent where philanthropy has long been marginalized, where very little infrastructure exists to support its development and there is little understanding of its role, Bheki Moyo has consistently promoted African philanthropy locally and globally. He has led and supported efforts on both the practical and theoretical aspects of it. Most recently, he was instrumental in setting up a Chair in African Philanthropy at South Africa’s Witwatersrand Business School.
In choosing Bheki Moyo, the judges commented on ‘his broad and long-term contribution to African philanthropy, playing different roles and critically contributing to building African institutions and networks … dedicated to strengthening philanthropy in Africa and helping to create the potential to achieve progressive social change in a sustained manner’.
Awarding the Olga Prize to Bheki Moyo is also a recognition that philanthropy should not be limited to the mobilization of private money, say the judges. Bheki has contributed greatly to building stronger participation and more horizontal processes around philanthropic efforts in Africa, both through his direct interventions and through his academic and knowledge achievements.
This was not an easy decision, however. ‘The process for choosing a winner was particularly challenging given the diversity of candidates, experiences and approaches to philanthropy,’ said Andre Degenszajn, chair of the judges. The judges made clear how impressed they were by the commitment and remarkable records of all the finalists in their own fields and contexts.
The other finalists were:
- Paul Bacher, founder of ORTJET and of the National Mentorship Movement, South Africa
- Artemisa Castro, executive director of the Fund for Solidarity in Action, Mexico
- Audrey Elster, executive director of South Africa’s RAITH Foundation, where she established the Social Justice Initiative
- Neville Gabriel, executive director of the Other Foundation and founding director of the Southern Africa Trust
- Laurence Lien, co-founder and CEO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle and former CEO of Singapore’s National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
- Maria Amalia Souza, founder and director of CASA Socio-Environmental Fund, Brazil
We too would like to congratulate Bheki Moyo and the other finalists. Each one of them would have made a wonderful winner. If you haven’t already done so, you can read all about their achievements in a special Alliance supplement.
The prize will be presented at the Global Summit for Community Philanthropy, to be held 1-2 December in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by the Global Fund for Community Foundations. The prize winner and all the other finalists will be attending the Summit.
Finally, we’d like to thank our judges for their dedication and hard work:
- Amitabh Behar, National Foundation for India
- Andre Degenszajn, GIFE, Brazil (chair)
- Atallah Kuttab, SAANED for Philanthropy Advisory Services, Arab region
- Janet Mawiyoo, Kenya Community Development Foundation
- Larisa Zelkova, Potanin Foundation, Russia
Maria Chertok is director at CAF Russia, Caroline Hartnell is a consultant to Alliance, and Jenny Hodgson is executive director of Global Fund for Community Foundations.