University for a Night in Africa 2010

Over 170 leaders from business, civil society and government came together in Johannesburg on October 11, 2010 for the second annual University for a Night in Africa. The focus of the evening was to share and discuss better ways of working together to address problems of poverty and to build a more equitable society in Africa.

Participants met over dinner for discussions of specific topics under this broad theme. Table discussion included Empowering communities by empowering girls, Reinventing entrepreneurship in Africa, and Innovations to transform education systems in Africa.

Synergos also used the occasion to honour four African leaders who have worked to bridge divides for more equitable social, economic and political development. The 2010 recipients of the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership in Africa Awards were:

  • The Right Honourable Nahas Angula, Prime Minister of Namibia
  • Wendy and Raymond Ackerman, South African entrepreneurs and philanthropists
  • Alice Mogwe, Director of Ditshwanelo - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights.

Prime Minister Angula was recognised for his contribution to development, education, democracy and reconciliation in Namibia, as well his work to advance public health and nutrition through multi-sector collaboration, innovation and leadership development.

Mr. and Mrs. Ackerman was honoured for their contribution to building a prosperous, democratic and non-racial society in South Africa, as well their work to advance community development and philanthropy.

Ms. Mogwe received the award for her contribution to human rights, gender justice, and social inclusion, bringing people together across the boundaries of race and class to build a more just and equitable society.


Precious and Patrice Motsepe/The Motsepe Foundation

Wendy Ackerman/Ackerman Family Educational Trust


Wendy Appelbaum Foundation
DSM Nutritional Products, Hivos South Africa, Metropolitan Health Group, PepsiCo, The Shanduka Group

Host Committee

Wendy Appelbaum, Peggy Dulany, Anne Emmett, Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Patrick Parring, Kathy Ackerman-Robins

About Synergos Southern Africa

Synergos is building on Africa’s deeply rooted traditions of ubuntu (“a person is a person through other persons”) and harambee (“all pulling together”), as well as African aspirations for broad-based community empowerment, to meet the challenges of poverty and social injustice. Synergos works for systemic change by strengthening collaborative leadership and supporting partnerships that promote equitable access to basic human rights and services.

Our programs:

  • Reduce the isolation of orphans and vulnerable children in Mozambique and South Africa
  • Improve the health and nutrition of women and children in Namibia
  • Support social entrepreneurs and their innovations
  • Strengthen civil society leaders to change the systems that keep people in poverty.

With a regional office in Cape Town and a project office in Windhoek, Synergos is growing its networks and activities to engage across diverse regions of Africa. Registered as a non-profit company in South Africa, Synergos Southern Africa is part of global Synergos, which is coordinated by our office in New York City.

Since 1986, Synergos has supported innovative global partnerships in more than 30 countries including Brazil, Canada, Ghana, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, the Philippines, South Africa, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Learn more.

Synergos Southern Africa Board of Directors

Mr. Patrick Parring (Chair), Ms. Kathy Ackerman-Robins, Ms. Wendy Appelbaum, Mr. Robert H. Dunn (Global CEO), Ms. Peggy Dulany (Global Chair), Ms. Anne Emmett, Ms. Bience Gawanas, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Mr. Tawanda Mutasah, Mr. Abdul Magid Osman, Mr. Barry Smith (Secretary)