#Re-ImagineRural… Our next town hall!

__Join me and HE President Paul Kagame here at 5 pm CAT on Thursday September 6th.

Last week you heard me echo here the words of the former head of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma: “The hoe belongs in a museum!” We have thousands of African innovators, including on this platform, who can easily eliminate this relic of servitude to millions of African women. I am counting on you to do your part! And I can see some of you are… So many of you shared success stories and ideas of how to #Re-ImagineRural. We will be talking about this topic for the next several weeks.

Meanwhile I have just landed in Rwanda where I’ll be attending the annual Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). This will be my last meeting as the AGRF Chairman. I have chaired all but one of the meetings since Kofi Annan asked me to do it. In particular, my “Chief” asked me to look after the interests of smallholder farmers in Africa — all 400m of them.

__For me, this is not a position, but an interest of the heart. I will always look out for them as long as I breathe.

Now tomorrow at the AGRF, I will have a town hall discussion that fits right into our #Re-ImagineRural series. This one is called Unlocking #Agripreneurship and I am so honored to join President of Rwanda, HE Paul Kagame, the Chair of the African Union, in this discussion which will be moderated by author Saul Singer who wrote the amazing book “Start-up Nation” that I mentioned here before.

Also in the audience will be all, or nearly all, of our inaugural group of #GoGettaz, plus some of the star “pitchers” from previous town halls, as well as one from from this platform who made a memorable comment! I can’t wait to see them. They just finished a three-week experiential learning program hosted by Cassava Fintech, one of the Econet family companies in Zimbabwe.

I will have some stories to share about this at a later date.

Please note: The Rwanda Town Hall is already sold out but please join us on the Facebook Live at 5 pm CAT on September 6th. http://bit.ly/AfripreneurTalk

So much to talk about … and do… as we #Re-ImagineRural. I hope you will be able to take part!

End.

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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.

One thought on “#Re-ImagineRural… Our next town hall!

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reflections @Chief Kofi Annan:

    Seeing the photo in the banner, reminded me of our visit to Germany with the Africa Progress Panel.

    Each year after producing our annual report about Africa we would often tour African and global capitals, as well as international platforms to highlight the issues we had raised in that year’s report.

    Angela Merkel is one of the most remarkable leaders I have ever met. You leave her presence feeling you have just met someone of quite extraordinary intellect. She listens well and asks piercing questions. She is also extremely humble.

    It was also clear that she spoke regularly with Kofi Annan even though he had long left office:

    She respected everything he said like the words of a “sage”!

    We wanted Germany to step up its support for Africa, and to also increase its international aid. We were concerned with a lot of major issues, including migration.

    During this particular meeting she was also given what I thought was a torrid time by my dear friend Bob Geldof over German and European Aid to Africa. Bob is extremely passionate about Africa.

    Chief as always was cool, and soft spoken and led the discussion:

    Anyway, [whilst I hasten to say that we can not claim any specific credit, that one meeting did it]; what we did observe [in the months and years to follow] was that both Germany and the EU stepped up their Aid from where they were at the time…
    German officials became much more engaged than they had been, and today Germany is probably the most solid partner for Africa, when it comes to Aid.

    This is how Change often happens!

    Thank you Chief and Baba Obasanjo for what you did at that incredible meeting.

    Our challenge now is that we do not have [for now] enough African leaders who can pick up the phone and call any leader in the world like Chief Kofi Annan could. It is a void that is going to be so difficult to fill.

    Reply

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