Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has said he will donate his entire $32bn fortune to charity.
Prince Alwaleed, 60, is a nephew of King Salman and is one of the world’s richest people, having built his fortune through investments in a range of companies including Twitter and News Corp. He is number 34 on Forbes list of the world’s richest people.
In making the donation, he said he had been inspired by the Gates Foundation, set up by Bill and Melinda Gates in 1997.
The money will go to the prince’s charitable organisation, Alwaleed Philanthropies, to which he has already donated $3.5bn.
He said that among other things, the money would “help build bridges to foster cultural understanding, develop communities, empower women, enable youth, provide vital disaster relief and create a more tolerant and accepting world”.
The prince is chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding Company which owns stakes in hotels- The Four Seasons, Fairmont and Raffles – as well as News Corp, Citigroup, Twitter and Apple.
He explained at the announcement that he is donating his personal wealth. “This is very much separate from my ownership in Kingdom Holding,” he said.
He added: “Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, which I embarked upon more than three decades ago and is an intrinsic part of my Islamic faith.
Prince Alwaleed’s announcement comes during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are encouraged to give to charity and help the needy.
Over the years, the prince’s philanthropy has spanned investments in community education, healthcare, emergency relief and basic infrastructure in 92 countries. He has also contributed to female and youth empowerment.
apart from being the main donor to the IKslamic arts hall at the Louvre museum in Paris, France, Prince Alwaleed is an important donor to western academic institutions studying Islam and the Middle East. He has funded centres at Harvard and Georgetown in the US and the British universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.