__Watch Aliko Dangote and me talk about entrepreneurship in Africa, and more…

Earlier today, I was with Aliko Dangote in Singapore and I am really excited to share with all of you this video of our Fireside Chat together! Please tune in and watch if you want to hear our discussion about almost all my favorite subjects: entrepreneurship, tackling corruption, growing large businesses, the need for vocational skills, and more!

When I shared that many of you had a keen interest in learning from him, my brother Aliko Dangote was delighted to agree. So were my dear friends from Gateway Partners, who organized the conference where we both spoke.

I’d like to thank all who helped put this together as well as our moderator Bronwyn Nielsen (a leading media broadcaster on the African continent).

I don’t need to tell most of you that Aliko Dangote is founder and president of the Dangote Group in Nigeria (that includes Dangote Cement), someone literally helping to build Africa’s century in a very big way!

This is a special gift from us to you. Enjoy!

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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.

13 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS!

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Foreign investors who are going to risk large amounts of investment capital in a country usually do a lot of homework on their own by sending experts to the country to study its policies, and to undertake deep analysis of its economic performance.
    Before they proceed to actually invest they like to do “peer to peer” reviews.
    This is when they meet with other people that they respect who have invested in that market. This is usually when the top leadership of a company get engaged. They consider such “peer to peer” conversations more important than meetings with political leaders and investment promotion agencies.

    When the CEO of a top company goes to the board for approval to invest, they will ask things like:
    “Did you talk to the other guys who have money in that country? Are they happy with the way they are treated?”

    As I have always told those leaders who seek my advice, “the best investment promotion is FIRST look after those people (particularly your own business people) who are already invested. Before there is a foreign investor, there must be a domestic investor.”

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reflection of the week:
    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in which foreign companies set up businesses in your country in areas like mining, industrial, commercial, are very important and we need them.

    It is extremely important, however, not to make the word “investor” synonymous with “foreign investor”!
    Everyone who owns a business, even a little one that you might dismissively call “informal,” is also an #INVESTOR!

    Investment in our countries leading to massive job creation will only begin seriously, when we FIRST address the needs of our #Domestic Investors.

    Let’s respect all investors (foreign and domestic), if we want to see real progress.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ndifreke writes,

    Few domestic investor really invest home.

    My reply,
    Very few African investors invest outside their home country, compared to other parts of the world.
    Most of the businesses in your country are done by domestic investors. I say this although I don’t know where you come from.

    Every single business in your country is an “investment” by someone. Even a guy with a tac shop took some money and “invested”. As long as it’s called a “business,” it is an investment, and the owner is an investor!

    90% of investment in any country is done by local [domestic] investors. In Africa, most investors are domestic, but most of us find it difficult to see the owners as investors, and that is the problem.

    If you are living in the diaspora and you send money home (including remittances) technically, you are a type of investor!

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #CorruptionFighter Reflection:
    In Kenya many years ago, a Central Bank Governor was imprisoned for accepting unlawful instructions from his then President. The President [then out of office] denied he issued such an instruction.
    The Central Bank governor died in prison.

    In my view, we need to press for legislations in our countries that impose harsh penalties on educated professional civil servants and ministers who accept unlawful instructions which are detrimental to the national interests.
    Why not offer them a 90 day amnesty to come forward and report all unlawful instructions they received from an outgoing administration. Now that would put the proverbial “cat amongst the pigeons”! Hearings could be held by special courts in camera, under the protection of parliament.
    If we do this at state government, and federal level, it would be a #Gamechanger!

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mokwue writes,

    Sir, your message on corruption really went viral. Not only in Africa but the world. In our local church today, the Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC) official came to educate the people on corruption. The seed you sowed is germinating.

    My reply,
    I’m so pleased to hear this.

    I meet a lot of senior civil servants who come up to me, and encourage me to speak out as I do.
    There are some incredible Civil Servants out there who are looking for some encouragement.
    I know there are people who think corruption cannot be defeated, but I know it will.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    A lesson from Aliko Dangote:

    When the mobile licenses were on offer in Nigeria, Dangote could have bid successfully for one of them. But I remember he steadfastly refused because as he put “it was not his game”.

    Secondly when oil blocks were on offer he stayed away, even though he had the money and influence to get the best of them.

    Dangote had his business model rooted in industrial manufacturing of cement, and similar basic products.
    He did not chase every type of business like a man trying to get into everything!

    #What is the lesson?
    I have said it before, and he repeated it the other day:
    You must focus on the thing you know best, and get in very deep!
    It is the best model.

    Dangote has made money in cement, does it mean that is where money is to be made?!
    No sir!

    Look at Nestle, they bought cocoa from Africa, and mixed it with milk, and built a business now worth $240bn!
    [half the size of Nigeria’s economy], and they are from a small country with 8.5m people, and a GDP of $650bn (bigger than Nigeria and SA)! …Switzerland!

    If you apply the “3Ps” to any type of business you will be a billionaire, if that is your desire!
    Take you business, that you know well. Don’t look over your shoulder at what the next guy is doing. Put your head down and focus on 3Ps:
    -Product (innovation),
    -People (hire the smartest people and incentivize them well),
    -Process (apply modern management techniques to ensure high levels of productivity).

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Benjamin writes,

    What an opportunity watching the entire discussion.
    Aside the business nuggets shared by Aliko and Strive, I really like the brotherhood relationship that exists among the duo. I keep hearing phrases as this one “just like my brother mentioned”. I think this is very important, we are brothers! Whenever you hail from the African soil, I’m your brother.

    My reply,
    # Well said, my brother!

    As I said elsewhere Aliko Dangote is a deeply compassionate man. He is the real deal.
    I have never done any business with him, but we meet several times a year, and it is always on issues to help our continent.

    # When I was asked by the AU to raise money to send almost 1000 healthcare workers to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in the midst of the Ebola crisis, he was the first person I called. He did not hesitate to give $m’s on the spot. He also served as a member of my Task Force that coordinated the entire effort.
    There were many huge companies that did not heed our call for money but we worked with those who were willing.

    # I worked with him for years as members of the Africa Progress Panel, under Mr Kofi Annan. We worked hard to highlight major challenges impeding Africa’s progress. The work of the Panel was for more than 10 years!

    # I have worked with him for more than 3 years as members of the UN Commission on how to help 60m (including 30m kids in Africa) who don’t go to school at all.

    Our chemistry is forged in working on key issues that matter to Africa and the world. He is a good guy, and a brother.

  8. Nixon

    Confirming yo word on corruption Mr Masiyiwa.Sometime ago before th new dispansetion our country ZI M is in Mr Dangote wanted to invest in our country but could not because of CORRUPTION. Ths year our new President is not tolering corruption & as a result pple lyk Damgote


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