Closing Down –Open Society Foundation OSF, founded by billionaire George Soros, has shut down its African offices months after downsizing staff.
In the development, luckily, the American foundation has spared Kenya alongside Senegal and Johannesburg in South Africa.
In a detailed report by Bloomberg on Thursday, Open Society Foundation (OSF), sent a correspondence to employees of several African offices detailing its plans to shut down some of the offices.
The six affected cities are Kampala (Uganda), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Cape Town (South Africa), Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Abuja based in Nigeria.
Binaifer Nowrojee, Vice President of programs, noted that it was increasingly becoming difficult to sustain operations across its offices despite a 40 per cent staff downsizing.
“With the decision by the board in June to cut the staff by more than 40 per cent. our staffing size and footprint by necessity need to diminish,” read the email from Nowrojee.
“We no longer have the bandwidth to operate multiple small offices and thus the decision to further reduce our locations.”
In another statement, Africa Executive Director Muthoni Wanyeki apologised for the development saying the shutting down will help sustain the remaining few.
“I’m very sorry that it’s turned out this way. It’s obviously not what any of us expected and I am also very sorry that I didn’t have the information on this earlier,” she noted.
The foundation prides itself in providing sh148 billion for charity every year, sh 15 billion of which is allocated to causes on the African Continent.
For three decades, the foundation, which is under the stewardship of Soros’ son, has availed a total of sh 2.8 trillion and over 50,000 grants.
Soros, who made a fortune selling stock and currency markets, set up the foundation in 1979 after surviving the Nazi war that claimed over 500,000 lives.
According to Bloomberg, his breakthrough investment was when he bet against the British pound and made over $1 billion (sh148 billion) in profits. He has donated sh 4.7 trillion of his personal wealth to fund OSF causes worldwide.
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