Posts Tagged ‘Arab Philanthropy’

In 2010, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates established the Giving Pledge to persuade American billionaires to donate at least half their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or after their death. While the initial focus is on the wealthiest families and individuals in the United States, there is consideration to extend the Giving Pledge globally. A total of 81 American billionaires, representing close to 20% of US billionaires, are signatories which amounts to promises estimated at $125 billion.

Many of the signatories amassed their wealth through entrepreneurship that had a transformative impact on the business world. Through their philanthropic activities, they seek a social impact. The underlying goal of the Giving Pledge is to engage American billionaires in an open way to mobilize more money for philanthropic causes which target particular issues of global concern and increase the efficiency of how social investments are deployed.

While there have been some notable philanthropic donations (such as Sheikh Mohammed’s $10 billion endowment of his namesake foundation the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation in 2007) and strategic philanthropy has entered the agenda, no similar initiative to the Giving Pledge exists in the Arab World. The Forbes Middle East’s Arab billionaires ranking includes 36 individuals, a number which is understated since the list does not include members of royal families, with a net worth estimated in the range of $120 billion. Assuming a similar volume of Arab billionaires signed a pledge to donate their wealth to philanthropy, an estimated $24 billion would be mobilized (based on an average Arab billionaire net worth of $3.4 billion). This raises an interesting question – what are Arab billionaires doing to contribute to the development of the Arab World through philanthropy? In this post, we review the Forbes Middle East’s Arab billionaires ranking to see how Arab billionaires based in the region are giving back to the region.

Forbes Rank 2012Name
Nationality
Net Worth (in billions)
Background
Causes
3Mohammed Hussein Al AmoudiKSA$12.5
Corral Petroleum Holdings and MIDROCHeathcare, R&D
4Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber
KSA
$7.0
MBI International & Partners
Higher education, cultural understanding
6,7,10
Sawaris Family
Egypt
$11.1
Orascom Group
Employment creation and training, microfinance, health, community development
8,9
Mikati Family
Lebanon
$6.0
Investcom
Health, nutrition, social, educational, cultural and social services
11
Miloud Chaabi
Morocco
$2.9
Ynna Holding, Riad Mogador, Aswak Assalam
Health, education, social services, culture, sport, and environmental issues
12Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair
UAE
$2.9
Mashreq Bank
Education, microfinance, sports, youth
13,22,33,34
Hariri Family
Lebanon
$6.8
Saudi Oger
Education, health, training, social services, culture
15
Othman Benjelloun
Morocco
$2.3
RMA Watanya, BMCE Bank
Early education quality, rural education
21,24,29
Mansour Family
Egypt
$4.8
Mansour Group
Education, illiteracy, poverty, microfinance, health

Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi

Al Amoudi has funded several research centers and academic chairs and pledged $20 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation to combat AIDS.

Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi

Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

The MBI Al Jaber Foundation is a UK registered charity that provides scholarships to graduate students from the Arab region and sponsors educational and cultural projects.

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

Sawaris Family

The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development is an Egyptian charity organization established in 2001 that supports initiatives that encourage job creation through training, education, and access to microcredit.

Naguib Sawiris

Naguib Sawiris

Mikati Family

The Azm wa Saade Association is a Lebanese non-governmental organization founded in 1988 that focuses on issue related to health, nutrition, education, culture, and social services.

Najib Mikati

Najib Azmi Mikati

Miloud Chaabi

Chaabi donated 10% of his fortune to build the first American university in Morocco. The Miloud Chaabi Foundation supports activities in in the areas of health, education, social services, culture, sport, and environmental issues.

Miloud Chaabi

Miloud Chaabi

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair

Al Ghurair sits on the Board of Directors of Emirates Foundation, UAE Higher Colleges of Technology. He is also a supporter of UNICEF, UNESCO, Planet Finance, and the UAE Disabled Sports Federation.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair

Hariri Family

The late Rafic Hariri established the Hariri Foundation in 1979, which has helped over 34,000 Lebanese students, attend universities globally. The Foundation also operates schools, clinics, a university, and technical institutes, provides health and social services.

The late Rafic Hariri

The late Rafic Hariri

Othman Benjelloun

Benjelloun’s BMCE Bank Foundation works in the field of education focusing on quality and rural accessibility.

Othman Benjelloun

Othman Benjelloun

Mansour Family

The Mansour Family is linked with two social sector organizations: Established in 2003, Lead is a non-profit NGO that provides poor and low-income entrepreneurs with microfinance services. The Mansour Charity Foundation, founded in 2001, was the first donor NGO to be fully funded by an Egyptian family.

Mohamed Mansour

Mohamed Mansour