Is Africa the Poorest Continent or the Most Generous?

GLOBAL STUDY OF 1.3 MILLION PEOPLE POINTS TO AFRICAN SURGE IN GIVING

A 10-year-study of global giving that surveyed 1.3 million people reveals that despite a downward trend in donations in some of the world’s wealthiest places, large swathes of the African continent are defying the trend.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index 10th edition report examined aggregate data for each country across 10 years (2009-2018), drawing on surveys in 128 countries in order to capture longer term trends. In each case, respondents were asked if they had helped a stranger, donated money or volunteered their time in the weeks prior to being surveyed each year over the decade.

Key findings include:

  • Three out of the top 10 most improved countries over the course of the study are in Africa; Kenya came second, South Africa is sixth and Rwanda is eighth.
  • Worldwide, more than 2.5 billion people helped a stranger over the past decade, with African countries accounting for seven of the top 10 places where people are most likely to do so.
  • Seven of the 10 most generous countries are among the world’s wealthiest but the top 10 list also includes less affluent nations such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
  • New Zealand (3rd place) is the only country that appears in the top 10 of all three measures of the survey, helping a stranger, volunteering and giving money to a good cause in the past month
  • Half of the countries that have risen the most in the World Giving Index are from Asia.
  • People from Myanmar are the most likely to have donated money to charity. (Practising Buddhists account for 90% of the population, 99% of them followers of the Therevada branch of the religion which mandates giving).
  • Globally, nearly 20% of all adults volunteer with Sri Lanka reporting the highest rate of volunteering in the world.

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