Why do people give to others? I believe there are two primary conditions that impel philanthropy: a moral concern to help and the opportunity to make a difference. The first of these has always been present in Africa. Its cultures and societies have inspiring traditions of sharing and solidarity. Within families, communities, ethnic groups and countries, it is these ‘sharing traditions’ that often sustain the collective spirit and survival. This spirit has been strengthened and extended by the migrations, forced and voluntary, of Africa’s last 40 years of turbulent independence, which have shown repeatedly that the ‘other’ is really ‘one of us’.