South African power couple Patrice Motsepe and Precious Moloi-Motsepe made history in 2013 when they became the first couple in the whole of Africa to join The Giving Pledge.
The Giving Pledge is a campaign which was started in 2010 by American billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage the world’s wealthiest families and individuals to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes. This can be done during their lifetime or through endowments in their wills.
The Motsepes were the first Africans to join The Giving Pledge after Patrice and Precious pledged to donate at least half of their wealth to improve the lives of the poor and marginalised in South Africa.
In a statement released at the time of joining the pledge, Patrice said,
Precious and I will contribute at least half of the funds generated by our family assets to the Motsepe Foundation to be used during our lifetime and beyond to improve the lifestyles and living conditions of the poor, disabled, unemployed, women, youth, workers and marginalised South Africans, Africans and people around the world.
…I decided quite some time ago to give at least half the funds generated by our family assets to uplift poor and other disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans, but was also duty-bound and committed to ensuring that it would be done in a way that protects the interests and retains the confidence of our shareholders and investors.
Speaking at the event, via live video, technology entrepreneur and one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates said,
It was a wonderful thing to hear how the Motsepes really, as part of their moral conviction as a family, believe in giving back. I want to congratulate them.
As of May 2019, the Giving Pledge had 204 pledgers from 23 countries. Africa is represented by only South Africa and Tanzania. Tanzania is represented by billionaire Mohammed “Mo” Dewji