Profile: Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe
Cofounder & CEO, Motsepe Foundation
Founder & CEO, African Fashion International (AFI)
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe is a philanthropist and businesswoman. Upon completion of her medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, and postgraduate studies in child and women’s health at Stellenbosch University, she established one of the first women’s clinics in Johannesburg.
About the Motsepe Foundation
Dr Moloi-Motsepe co-founded the Motsepe Foundation with her husband Dr Patrice Motsepe in 1999. The goal of the Motsepe Foundation is to contribute towards eradicating poverty and to sustainably improve the living conditions and standards of living of poor, unemployed and marginalised people in South Africa, Africa and the world.
The Foundation is one of the largest Foundations in South Africa and on the continent, in terms of the donations allocated since its founding. Located in South Africa, the Foundation has a geographic reach across sub-Saharan Africa and has formed global networks with partners operating across various continents.
The work of the Foundation is aligned to 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations. As part of their overall commitment, the Motsepe Family joined the Giving Pledge, a group of families that have made long term substantial financial commitments to global development.
Access to quality education is a central mission of the Foundation, and this is upheld through the distribution of university bursaries to academically deserving students across South Africa who are in financial need, as well as school infrastructure development.
The bursaries, guided by Dr Moloi-Motsepe, are focused in skills areas that are acknowledged to be necessary for the growth of South African and African industries: Science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM), as well as entrepreneurship, medicine, law and agriculture. The school infrastructure programmes, which operate in high density areas, have constructed ablution facilities, communal gathering spaces, and fully equipped computer and science labs.
Growing her transformative impact within the University landscape in South Africa, Dr Moloi-Motsepe is a founding member of the South African Universities Chancellors Forum (SAUCF).
Dr Moloi-Motsepe is a recipient of the Elizabeth Tshabalala Award for her promotion of women’s health and cancer awareness. She has also published a resource guide, the Little Black for Women, to disseminate vital information on health, education, and economic and legal empowerment to marginalised women.
In 2016 Dr Moloi-Motsepe founded the Gender Equality, Wellness and Leadership (GEWAL) department within the Motsepe Foundation. Through GEWAL, Dr Moloi-Motsepe has been an advocate for Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiatives, which was adopted by the South African parliament in 2018. Through the annual International Women’s Day Summit, Dr Moloi-Motsepe brings together globally influential leaders and grassroots organisations that work with vulnerable women to inspire greater efforts for the advancement of women in leadership and gender equality across all industries.
Opportunity and Job Creation
Dr Moloi-Motsepe initiated the job creation and skills development fund through the Foundation. This fund allocates strategic investments toward sectors that show potential for sustainable job creation and assists in alleviating the skills mismatch that has prevented economic mobility for the youth.
Through a partnership with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Dr Moloi-Motsepe advocates for the social and solidarity economy and supports social entrepreneurs through education sponsorships to attend the Harvard Kennedy School.
Dr Moloi-Motsepe is also the founder and CEO of African Fashion International (AFI), a globally affiliated enterprise that champions African creatives and facilitates their entrance into global markets. In 2017 Dr Moloi-Motsepe received the Fashion 4 Development Franca Sozzani Award at the United Nations in New York, for her efforts in promoting African fashion designers and supporting the empowerment of disadvantaged women along the supply chain.
Sports and Culture
As an advisor to the football club Mamelodi Sundowns, Dr Moloi-Motsepe recognises the importance of sports in the development of well-rounded individuals. The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, which is supported by the Foundation, is the largest schools football tournament in the country and the model is being implemented into other parts of Africa. Together with the National Second Division ABC Motsepe League, the Foundation supports a pipeline of skills development within the football industry.
Dr Moloi-Motsepe invests in preserving Africa’s cultural heritage, understanding the potential of the creative and cultural industry for Africa’s youth prosperity. Through the Foundation Dr Moloi-Motsepe supports the ABC Motsepe Schools Eisteddfod of choral music. Through AFI, Dr Moloi-Motsepe has developed an aggregator platform for creatives on the continent, including designers, writers, photographers and visual artists to explore diverse narratives and contribute to global creative critiques.
Through local community-driven partnerships with government departments, religious and faith-based organisations, and kings and traditional leaders, Dr Moloi-Motsepe is able to achieve widespread impact across the more than 300 development forum areas where the Foundation operates.
Internationally, Dr Moloi-Motsepe collaborates with the Milken Institute and Harvard University to further research and development for the African continent. The Milken-Motsepe Prize focuses strategically on Africa by harnessing the know-how of global innovators to accelerate progress for the SDGs on the continent.
A partnership with the Global Fashion Agenda has promoted the contributions and interests of African creatives in the global fashion industry. As an advisor, representing Africa on this platform, Dr Moloi-Motsepe has driven the sustainable fashion agenda on the continent and nurtures emerging designers into this space.
Emergency Response Initiatives
In addition to the on-going poverty alleviation projects, Dr Moloi-Motsepe supports regions and organisations in the response to emergency circumstances. These have included pledges to assist in the fight against Ebola in Guinea, victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, as well as access to COVID-19 relief resources in South Africa for schools and vulnerable communities.
Dr Moloi-Motsepe’s other professional associations include:
- Chancellor of the University of Cape Town
- Member of the Global University Leaders Forum at the World Economic Forum
- Member of the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board
- Member of the Harvard Kennedy School Public Leadership Council
- Co-Chair of Maverick Collective.