As the world continues to grapple with the issue of economic inequality, it is important to examine the actions of those who hold substantial wealth, particularly in Africa. Recently, there has been a growing trend of African; Nigerian millionaires donating large sums of money to universities in Europe and America. In some cases, these millionaires are suspect in regard to their sources of wealth. While the intention behind such donations may be noble, the impact of these possible stolen millions transferred to elite universities in Europe or America from Africa is damaging at worst.
Nigerian millionaire and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Afe Babalola, has sparked outrage on social media over his donation of 10 million pounds to establish a learning center at King’s College, London.
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge the fact that many African countries continue to struggle with numerous challenges, including poverty, lack of access to basic healthcare, and a struggling education system. While the continent has made significant strides in recent years, the impact of these challenges cannot be ignored. As such, it is concerning that African, especially Nigerian millionaires are choosing to donate large sums of money to universities in Europe and America, rather than investing in their own countries and communities that are sinking into abject poverty.
In 2016, a Nigerian oil and gas industry billionaire, Muhammadu Indimi, faced criticism in his country over his support for millions of dollars in donations to Lynn University, in Florida. While the oil and gas billionaire was making millions of dollars in donations to an elite private university in the US, millions of children who reside in the oil-rich, but poorest region of Niger Delta where Nigeria derives 90 percent of its oil are learning and attending schools in open fields, a school with no roofs, no desks, and not even a single computer.
This trend is particularly concerning given the fact that many African schools and universities are in dire need of funding, and struggle to provide the bare minimum of school materials and adequate resources for their students. As such, it is difficult to justify the actions of African millionaires who choose to donate to universities in Europe and America, rather than investing in their own countries. I challenge every reader of this article to look closely into the eye of the African children below and tell me that these billionaires have souls. In my opinion, they do NOT.
An image of an elementary school in Delta State
Additionally, the impact of such donations on the perception of Africa as a continent is also problematic. By choosing to donate to universities in Europe and America, African millionaires are perpetuating the notion that Africa is unable to provide for its own people, and that it is reliant on the West for development. This is a damaging perception that undermines the significant progress that has been made on the continent in recent years.
Finally, it is important to consider the impact of such actions on the wider economic system. By donating large sums of money to universities in Europe and America, African millionaires are effectively transferring wealth from Africa to the West. This perpetuates a cycle of economic inequality, where African countries are unable to invest in their own development, and the West continues to benefit from their resources and wealth.
In conclusion, while the intentions behind donating to universities in Europe and America may be noble, the impact of such actions on Africa as a continent is questionable at best and damaging at worst. Rather than donating to universities in the West, African millionaires should focus on investing in their own countries and communities, in order to build a brighter future for the continent as a whole.