Image credit: Ubuntu Hope.

This is what some of you are already doing to change Africa

__If not yet today, next time… you?

Here’s a challenge for you and also a congratulations. Last week we talked about solving problems right where you are. Thousands of you wrote back, sharing your own ideas and how you yourselves have tackled a whole range of very serious matters in your lives, businesses, communities and even nations. I was humbled and inspired, and I am sure other readers were, too. Thank you.

Well, there’s more good news happening in Africa. Several weeks ago I asked you to “shout out” your education ventures. You on this platform know by now that millions upon millions of children of school-going age are still not in school, and that we have to “skill up” about 600m young people by the year 2030. And you know this is a huge priority of mine… Our continent’s future depends on it.

Did you know that Nelson Mandela started school at age 7, and as I understand it was the first and only of his 12 siblings to do so? His father died when he was about 9 but his mother made sure he continued his education… The rest as they say, is history. Every one of our children has seeds of greatness.

When our continent’s liberation leaders were imprisoned over the decades, did they simply sit around in despair? No. Whilst physically imprisoned, many of them liberated and expanded their minds with education, even in such dire circumstances, studying with diligence and discipline.

__We owe it to ourselves and our families, and to those who fought for our freedoms with their very lives, to focus on this critical matter of education, right now, right where we are.

What happens if we don’t? I won’t even answer that question, because together, we can and we will.

Now I want to tell you, some amazing things ARE already happening and have been for some time. When I gave that “shout out” last month I was so moved by the response, I asked my team to compile the list. Today I’ll share some here, but only those with website or social info that my team could manage to open. If we missed you somehow, please just put a comment below and you’ll get your chance to shine. And don’t worry, I will be doing this again.

Meanwhile my friends… may I remind you the very important marketing lesson we covered last year: presentation and pitch! You know I read everything you write here. Next time when I specifically invite you to tell me what you’re up to, I know you won’t forget to give me your website or other online info. (That does not take away from the GREAT work some of you told me about).

By the way, I’m not endorsing any of the below initiatives. We didn’t do any proper “homework” (and the names listed are the ones who shouted out). We just wanted to share, so you can learn from and about each other, and be inspired. The quick summaries (for-profits but mostly not-for-profit ventures) are listed by my team in the order they were posted.

# Austin Uzim and many others in my senior class –

The Africa Transporter Initiative (TATI) includes many entrepreneurs on this platform who are working on projects to empower and inspire youth across the continent. “Catch them young, Invest in their future” is their logo. 400+ members so far… (Pan-African)

# Bashanganyi Magwape – The Dream Factor Foundation is an after-school learning program helping children be “moonshiners” with tutoring, job shadowing, entrepreneurial and digi-preneurial programs, amongst many. (South Africa)

# Onwuka Matthew Onyeab – The Africa Youth & Talent Summit is held annually, next in Kenya in July 2018, with focus on Youth and Leadership Development as a tool for Africa’s growth. (Pan-African)

# Nobleman Zulu – Morning Star Creche and Nursery School teaches learners ages 2 – 6. (Zimbabwe)

# Jerry Mambali – TanzaProud is a web app platform to help fellow students find their feet as they ask themselves “What should I study in college? Where should I go?” (Tanzania)

# Ruth Mushonga – “Information Skills 4 Everyone” (ITS$E) is a computer skills training program at Christ Embassy in Cosmo City. (South Africa)

# Emeka Osu – #YearOfSkills is an online group offering web development/tech classes via short educational videos. (Nigeria)

# Dayo Moyo – Screenbook Nigeria is a mobile App “to make learning super simple, fun and interesting.” (Nigeria)

# Tinofara Manase – The Centre for Total Transformation is a study group program for out of school orphans and vulnerable children to help turn learned skills into entrepreneurial ventures. “It is not about what it is, but it is about what it can become.” (Zimbabwe)

# Esther Mwaniki – Lapid Leaders Africa is a leadership development program including mentorship focused mostly on university students, to build value-driven leaders. (Kenya)

# Eddie Kago – Upeo Discovery offers training in digital skills, digital literacy and relevant digital trends for kids ages 10-14 in a Nairobi slum area, and aims to expand throughout continent. (Kenya)

# Lerato Motsamai – Girlignite Africa Academy focuses on education for Africa’s girl leaders – maths labs, technovation (entrepreneurship with coding), FinLit, investing, digital literacy, servant leadership/more. (South Africa)

# Obi Precious – FaceYouth aims to promote quality education, skills, vocational training for underprivileged African children. (Scotland/Nigeria)

# Michael Adebowale Popoola – The Precious Map Foundation works to meet the needs of less privileged children and students with potential “towards the growth and development of our dear country.” (Nigeria)

# Ikenna Odinaka – AfterSchoolAfrica is a website with extensive information for young Africans to discover and explore opportunities to fund their education (scholarships and research grants) as well as startups. (Nigeria)

# Chimdi ‘bube Orizu – Beksecschscholarship2018 is an initiative aimed to assist young secondary school graduates use Excel and other Microsoft Office tools to tackle real life issues, including get community kids back in school. (Nigeria)

# Sulaimon Moshood Olalekan – The City Model Education Services helps students increase their vocabulary and improve their English skills, amongst its many services. (Nigeria)

# Abimbola Kolapo – The Future Leader is an online platform to help guide secondary school students in choosing the right career path and also connect them with mentors. (Nigeria)

# Patrick Mashanda – IkamvaYouth is a project that empowers township learners through a peer to peer tutoring model, in education, e-literacy and career guidance. (South Africa)

# William Marangwanda – Wilstel Open College provides online tertiary education using latest educational technology facilities. (Zimbabwe)

# Omelu-Jerry Freeborn – The Youths for Greater Africa Initiative focuses on girl child education and recently initiated a science and technology expo with Rivers State University, amongst other projects. (Nigeria)

# Blessings Muza – Trac SA offers tech-based science education to disadvantaged secondary schools and via mobile school labs. “Small acts bring great rewards – creating hope for the future.” (South Africa)

# Sammy-Rogers Ebikade – Schubuuk is a mobile app aimed at making schools fun, social and paperless. (Nigeria)

# Raphael Isah – Greysoft Technologies helps get pupils acquainted with the use of computers in Nigerian schools, with an offline application using intranet. (Nigeria)

# Dheolu Okokade – Dhack Institute teaches practical tech skills like coding, robotics and electronics to kids between the ages of 6 and 18. (Nigeria)

# Jeph Acheampong – Blossom Academy offers data science skills training to university graduates. (Ghana

Some of our Liquid Telecom adverts say AfriCAN… (They’ve won several awards for this marketing campaign). Well, when I read what you write here on this platform, I SEE without a doubt Africa’s century IS in the making. Let’s all make sure people know about it.

More “shout out” opportunities to come. (And for those of you who are still waiting, thank you for being patient). Now tell me what you think about some of these ventures. Lessons learned for others if you are one of the ones involved?

End.

 

by 20 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

20 thoughts on “This is what some of you are already doing to change Africa

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ngoni writes,

    All glory be to GOD. I hope and pray privileged people will open their hearts to under-privileged / homeless people and build homes for them.

    My reply,
    In commenting on my sister-in-law’s decision to adopt a child who had been abandoned, there are a few things I want you to know:
    #1. At the time she was a young woman barely out of university. She did not come from a rich family.
    #2. She was not married, and she knew that her decision would mean she may never get married, as some African men and their families would not accept her.
    In the end she never married even though she was a beautiful woman by any measure. She focused on raising her child. Years later when my wife and I set up the Higher Life Foundation, she left her job and went to work there full time, because it offered her an opportunity to work with orphans.

    #3. She was still living at home with her father. She had no home of her own. She had to get her father to agree to the adoption. He agreed.
    #4. She was not related in any way to the child she adopted.

    #5. My wife and I were so inspired by what she did, we also adopted one of our own children. Again we did not adopt a relative’s child (even though we also have relatives children in our care as well). We also adopted a child from a village in another remote part of our country.

    I gave this story to remind each of us that there are very ordinary people out there who every single day make huge commitments to help others.

    Let it inspire you to make a COMMITMENT over something you care about more than your own personal comfort, career, prosperity. You do not have to be privileged to help another person, particularly a child. You just have to care enough to act.

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    Last month Liquid Telecom released a research study called “AfriCAN Gen Z Report 2018″ which you can read about here: http://digestafrica.com/liquid-telecom-generation-africas-digital-future/ or download at https://www.liquidtelecom.com/information-centre/whitepapers/african-generation-z-report

    The report says: “While the developed world’s Gen Z has typically grown up in a digital environment, millions of youth across Africa have yet to experience the basics such as reliable electricity, adequate sanitation, dependable education and digital technology.”

    In many places this is changing… but definitely not fast enough. Do you have any Generation Z’s in your family? Let’s talk.

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Abubakar writes,

    Hello sir,
    http://www.mylearningacademy.com helping to bridge the education divide by utilizing technology and mobile solutions to provide learning resources for all ages and stages; Primary, secondary, university students, as well as adult education and skill-based courses for professionals and job seekers. Presently operating in Nigeria, Cameroon and Swaziland. Hoping to expand to more African countries.

    My reply,
    I visited the website. Very impressive. Well done.

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ronald writes,

    As members of Makerere Acholi Medical Students Association, we organise medical camps annually to give back to The indigenous villages we came from in the Northern part of Uganda which had been swallowed in an LRA insurgency for almost 25 years. In these camps we always involve the locals in health talks about communicable and non communicable diseases which are affecting a large portion of the society today. We also provide few health kits to these people. I believe by providing knowledge to everyone, we shall be able to achieve a lot instead of climbing high steps and forgetting where we came from. This is achievable in all settings as long as there is passion!

    My reply,
    This is great.
    Makerere is an amazing university in terms of its history. I have visited it before.

    Try and extend this into a national program as well.

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Junaid writes,

    I helped an disabled person in Maiduguri after realizing she’s an IDP. what I did was that, I enrolled her into school in Dusuman Jere Local govt and UNICEF too supported her with some writing materials and a Lady Hajia Maryam gave her crippled bike.
    All these was necessated because of your inspiration post Doc

    My reply,
    You made my day!
    Keep it up.

    Reply
  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Photon writes,

    Good afternoon Sir Strive. God blessed me with the knowledge of mathematics. I can teach maths at all levels but I don’t like teaching. I am building a career in engineering because that is my passion. Please can someone help suggest what I should do with this precious gift? I don’t know what to do with it

    My reply,
    You have an amazing gift!
    What you need is good career guidance counsel otherwise it will go to waste.

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Melissa writes,

    http://www.facebook.com/groomvilla
    Groom Villa mentors teachers and school managers online and offline to enable them gain competence and professional teaching skills that will help improve on the quality of education and the learning outcomes of students. Teachers are the traditional custodians of knowledge and information in schools. If we get it right with our teachers, we get it right with our students. Education can improve tremendously in Africa when we raise competent and passionate teachers who are also tech savvy.

    My reply,
    Really exciting!
    I hope to see this rolled out across Africa.

    Reply
  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Austin writes,

    Thank you gracefully sir. We won’t rest until impacts are made. I have never believed so much in Africa more than I do now. Let everyone doing a thing or two pick courage and keep pushing the limits. When you do God’s work, he even sends angels to offer you a cup of water. Thank you again and again Dr Strive for opening my eyes to do things that matter.

    My reply,
    If you did not have your own business, I would ask you to come and work for me.
    You are an amazing young man. I love your comments, and I have been astounded to watch you grow.
    Asante Sana!

    Reply
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Austin writes,

    Thank you sir. I’m encouraged by this. Anecdotes you’ve shared on this platform has been very inspiring.

    In middlebelt part of Nigeria Benue State, 300,000 students have dropped out of school as a result of the fulani herdsmen activities.

    100,000 of that population alone are in primary schools . I’m afraid this is a daunting task, but we need to come to the aid of these children and help them through school.

    I have just one solution, build schools in another safer state and relocate them. In the interim, proximity education that’s, education without a classroom is what we have been doing.

    The team needs serious mobility to deliver the services we can afford for now pending when we get structures on ground for their relocation.

    My reply,
    This is a truly tragic conflict. It is not the only conflict between herdsmen and arable farmers taking place in Africa.
    We can debate causes and solutions (and there are many), but unfortunately unless we are in government leadership we may not be able to offer some of these solutions.
    However it does not mean that as individuals we cannot find solutions to help alleviate some of the terrible consequences like children unable to go to school.
    During the Second World War, there was a movement in countries like Britain whereby children were relocated to parts of the country where there was no conflict. Families voluntarily opened their homes and were vetted to take in children.

    Schools across Nigeria could be asked to create space for small numbers of children from conflict zones. Businesses, NGOs, Churches and Mosques could drive such initiatives. There is so much we can do. We just need the will. It is people like you who will lead this effort, along with so many others on this network of friends.
    What do you guys think?

    Reply
  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Austin writes,

    Breaking News sir!

    Someone who read my comment on your page just offered 10 lucky pupils scholarship! Read her message to me:

    “Hello Austin
    I read your message in Dr. Strive’s post.

    I have a school and I will like to offer full scholarship to 10 primary school pupils

    The school is in Warri delta state. We care and will place them in the boarding facility with a adequate pastoral care.

    you cn reach me on.,..

    My reply,
    Awesome. I’m happy to join this initiative, and contribute some money.
    Let’s reach out to others willing to help in this and other ways.
    This is a good reason for me to one day visit Warri. It would not be my first visit!
    Who else will take up this challenge?

    Reply
  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Rosemary writes,

    This story about your sister in-law reminds me of the great work a dear friend and brother Richards Chybuikem Akonam is doing in Cross-rivers, Nigeria among the Becheve tribe. Infact before I got married in 2015 my fiancé then now my husband said it would be good to spend our honeymoon on something that wasn’t about us but others so we took a trip up to the mountains where these particular tribe resides.
    The place is called Keyi, in Crossrivers, Nigeria. It’s about 5hours up the mountain, it wasn’t an easy climb for a new bride but it’s an experience I would never forget. Richards Chybuikem Akonam has been working among the Becheve tribe for many years now, delivering young girls from a tradition known as “money woman” where a young girl about age 7 is bought over for as low as N5000 ($14) and married to a man of 50/60 years and goes around during the day as a commercial sex hawker then brings the proceeds to her husband.
    Richard has bought over (the only way they can be released) alot of these girls and sent them to places where they can be trained in school or taught a trade. He has some living under his roof too.
    He has recently done a Tedx talk in Calabar, Crossrivers, Nigeria raising awareness of this current practice aside other awareness in the years past.

    My reply,
    What an amazing man!
    I would love to meet him. I hope my team can work with you to arrange a meeting.
    #LionMan!

    Reply
  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Magdiel Paul writes,

    #Streetpriest

    In Nigeria, the Bakassi peninsula was ceded and handed over to Cameron.

    Some of the the indigenes that opted to continue as Nigerians were relocated to IDP camps.

    These camps are dilapidated school class rooms with most of the part of the school’s building with no roofing, no windows or doors.

    Dr Strive Sir, am talking about over 3,000 people without counting the children. These children have no form of electricity, water nor education.

    When it got to my attention, i couldn’t just wish it away. I saw the government was not dependable and definitely no need to wait for their unending promises.

    Sleep left me until I decided to go see for myself and boy! Thehe sight was gory.
    Even much more than I heard.

    So I started an initiative to adopt at least a 100 children per year at least to get them in schools.

    This I do in collaboration with a few good willing friends, churches and the “Street priest” to atleast get these very innocent ones who are caught in the middle of politics, some edge in life to see a blink of light at the end of the tunnel.

    So much potential therein lie.
    Some of these kids are so smart, you can’t just let go, even when sometimes it can be difficult, demanding and a lot of pressure but i can attest that it is totally worth it.

    My reply,
    What can I say my dear? What can I say?
    This is just amazing…Oh God how we need more like you.
    Imagine if others on this network came together with you [there in Nigeria] to create a support network to raise funds for your work!
    #What an opportunity for you!

    “You have treasure in Heaven, stored just for you”!

    Reply
  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Something spiritual for you this morning.
    I have so contemplated this verse (in the Amplified Translation), that I know it by heart:

    # “He gives to the poor”:

    2 Corinthians 9:8-9
    “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].
    As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever!”

    Galatians 2:10 (Amplified).
    “They only [made one stipulation], that we were to remember the poor, which very thing I was also eager to do.”

    Reply
  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mogaji writes,

    On giving to the poor, I did something last year which I’d love to continue. I donated about 100school kits (uniforms and sandals) to indigent pupils in a remote village in Katsina state, Nigeria. All I did was to get the comprehensive list of the needy and also got the wealthy people to donate something towards it. You all need to see the huge smiles and laughter of relief on the faces of these kids and their parents.

    I’m currently working on something similar in Lagos this year and we’re currently generating the list of the needy pupils. Though getting funds and support is a bit more difficult this year. I am just an ordinary guy with a very big heart ♥☺

    Reply,
    Big, big ❤️!
    You must continue.

    Reply
  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Write about what you are doing because it will inspire others to do the same!

    When my sister-in-law adopted a little girl, my wife and I were inspired to do exactly the same a few years later.
    Then to cap it all my own sister also adopted a little girl. I was so proud of my sister. She never one day came to me for money to help her raise the child. She did it on her own, and only got married years later.

    All three children are now young adults in their twenties.

    # Adoption and foster care is something we must all do. There should be no child in Africa without a home.
    To see a child living on the streets makes us no different from the religious guys in the parable of the Good Samaritan, who left a man in the ditch, because they did not want to be involved.

    There are countries in Africa that I have visited that do not have street children. This shows it is possible. We should never accept it as part of “city life evils” as someone [wicked in my view] once said.

    It is possible for us to end child homelessness within 20 years, if the peoples of all religions would take up their duty to the poor. Your generation [18-40] can end this, because my own failed.

    Reply
  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ikenna writes,

    Absolutely Sir. Last year December (Christmas season), my wife and I gave a bag of rice, food item and a small envelop each to 30 road-cleaners (underpaid government workers – mostly mothers) along my office location. I drive pass these women to work every day and notice how under appreciated they are. I gave them a pep talk about how important the job they do to keep the road clean is to overall development. I believe among these women are the Lionesses you often talk about.
    Nevertheless, reading from you and other people here, I’m inspired to channel more effort towards enduring assistance for the younger ones. God bless you sir.
    “Evil thrives when good works are kept private”

    My reply,
    #Inspired by you!

    Reply
  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Santhosh Mathews,

    Jolly John that was very nice of you to mention Love Without Reason in this comment section. We love Africa and Mr. Strive has done some amazing work in that continent. Over the past year God took us to Zimbabwe and we were about to do 108 surgeries for children with cleft lip and palate issues. We are going back in November.

    Most children with clefts are not allowed to go to school, college or even get a job or be married. Transforming faces and changing lives is our calling.

    God bless you Mr. Strive for your amazing work in Africa. We pray for your continued success.

    My reply,
    The work you are doing is amazing.
    Your labor of love, and faith is not without recompense from Him who sent you.
    Please feel free to visit Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa (MD), who runs and our foundation. Perhaps we can find ways together to do more of this work. He is aware of this com

    Reply

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