is the co-founder of the J&J Group
and founder of the J&J Development Projects Trust
. He is the non-executive Chairperson of the premier development finance institution in Southern Africa, the Development Bank of Southern Africa
The Development Bank of Southern Africa is a Development Finance Institution wholly owned by the government of South Africa and focuses on large infrastructure projects within the public and private sector. It is one of several development finance institutions in Southern Africa...
. He is also Chairperson of the Geneva-based Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition is an alliance driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. Created in 2002 at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children, GAIN supports public-private partnerships to increase access to the missing nutrients in diets necessary for...
, a global public-private partnership committed to fighting malnutrition with projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.
Naidoo is a member of the Global Health Advisory Panel of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and of the Health Advisory Board of the Clinton Global Initiative, and is Trustee and Deputy Chair of an eminent South African organisation dealing with HIV and Aids, loveLife
Lovelife is a 1997 romantic comedy film written and directed by Jon Harmon Feldman. The ensemble cast includes Matt Letscher, Sherilyn Fenn, Saffron Burrows, Carla Gugino, Bruce Davison, Jon Tenney and Peter Krause....
. He also sits on the Advisory Committee of the International Telecommunications Union.
Naidoo was General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is a trade union federation in South Africa. It was founded in 1985 and is the biggest of the country’s three main trade union federations, with 21 affiliated trade unions, altogether organising 1.8 million workers.-Establishment:COSATU was established in...
from 1985 to 1993. He then served as Minister responsible for the Reconstruction and Development Programme in President Mandela’s office and as Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting
(1996 1999). Naidoo was a member of the NEC of the African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...
. For his accomplishments he has gained many honors, including becoming a Chevaliers de la Legion d’Honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...
Born in 1954, Naidoo enrolled in University of Durban-Westville
The University of Durban-Westville was formerly a university situated in Westville, Durban opened 1972. It now forms part of the campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Known as UDW, it was initially established for Indians as during apartheid there were few universities that admitted non-White...
to study a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in pursuance of a medical career in the 1970s, but left university before completing his studies because of a clampdown by the apartheid Government. He then became a community-based organizer working with grassroots civic structures. He joined the Federation of South African Trade Unions
The Federation of South African Trade Unions was a labour organisation formed in April 1979 to build non-racialindustrial worker's block committed firmly to strong factory floor organization. It was merged into the Congress of South African Trade Unions in 1985....
as a volunteer in 1979. Naidoo was later appointed Secretary General of the Sweet, Food and Allied Workers' Union (SFAWU).
Jay Naidoo is married to Lucie Pagé, an award-winning French-Canadian writer and journalist, and regards his three children as his greatest achievement.