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Open Africa

Enterprise Investment partners

One of the Enterprise Investment partners we currently support is Open Africa, an inspirational and award-winning social enterprise founded under the patronage of late state president, Nelson Mandela.

Open Africa envisions a different world where authentic and unexpected experiences for travellers translate into opportunity for rural people.

Open Africa meets the need for job creation, small business development and rural development in rural areas across Southern Africa by developing tourism routes.

With 64 of these tourism routes developed so far, involving 2,510 small businesses that directly employ 28,490 people, Open Africa is a shining example to us of the powerful role resourcefulness can play in uplifting the African continent.



Unemployment is currently at 52% (Mail & Guardian 2012) and in some rural areas is as high as 70% (HSRC). As such, government priorities are job creation and particularly the development of small and mid-sized businesses, which will be the lifeblood of the future economy.

What Open Africa does

Open Africa works with small businesses to establish rural tourism routes that offer travellers authentic experiences, while generating income and jobs for local people.  Open Africa is a facilitator, working with rural / marginalised communities:

  • Helping them package their tourism potential and identify enterprises that can provide services to tourists, under a collective travel route (similar in concept to a wine route)
  • Providing support, capacity building and mentoring to these enterprises as needed
  • Connecting these enterprises to a market (i.e. tourists) via www.openafrica.org and other marketing initiatives
  • Tourists then visit the area, having an authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience, while supporting local enterprises (increasing income and jobs) and feeling good about it.

Why support Open Africa

  • Uses the viable economic platform of tourism (the world’s largest job creator and growing in Africa) to increase incomes and jobs for rural entrepreneurs.
  • 19-year track record of results and awards.
  • A registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with tax deductibility for donations through Section 18A status (tax exemption reference no 18/11/13/4207).
  • A whole solution for sustained results: combines socio-economic development with enterprise development and market access.
  • A social enterprise, sustaining up to 50% of its own income, to reduce donor dependency.


Contact Francois Viljoen at Open Africa for more information: Tel +27 (21) 683 9639 or francois@openafrica.org or visit www.openafrica.org