Pause: #FromWordsToAction

__”Let’s get the show on the road!”

This Friday in Nairobi is finally the big day! Yes, they’re almost in the elevator… For over a year now, I’ve been talking about choosing two entrepreneurs (one woman and one man) to come work along side me and our #Kwesé team for two weeks in our Johannesburg offices, and also win a $100,000 USD investment in their for-profit or not-for-profit ventures.

As I write today, 11 of our finalist Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz entrepreneurs — from DRC (1), Ghana (1), Rwanda (1) Nigeria (5), South Africa (1) and Zimbabwe (2) are (almost) at the airport to board their flights to Nairobi. Our one finalist from Kenya won’t need to travel too far to get to “Nairobi Garage” where the coaching and networking will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. The Grand Finale pitching contest at Strathmore University Main Auditorium will start on Friday afternoon. Wow!

But that’s not all! Friday afternoon gets even BETTER. I am honoured to share that the Pathways for Prosperity Commission for Technology and Inclusive Growth (that I told you about last September) will be in Nairobi to officially launch its work this week. Part of the inaugural activities will include hosting our first 2018 town hall, along with partners, Kwesé Inc and Liquid Telecom.

I’ll be attending the Pathways meetings this week in Nairobi as one of the co-chairs, along with Melinda Gates (co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Hon. Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Minister of Finance in Indonesia). Now some of you may wonder why we decided to partner with the Pathways Commission on this town hall. It’s all captured in one very important mission we share… the one thing I told you keeps me up at night:

__As new technologies rapidly change the way all of us live and work, how can we (the private sector, governments, and entrepreneurs) create jobs?

Although not all our Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz finalist ventures are tech products and services, what’s important is that these 12 entrepreneurs have begun using these tools to create economic opportunity in their own communities. That is why we call them #GoGettaz!

Two amazing Pathways Commissioners — Shivani Siroya (founder and CEO of Tala) and Kamal Bhattacharya (Chief Innovation Officer of Safaricom) — will join me at the Tech and Entrepreneurship Town Hall which promises to be an excellent start to the cutting-edge dialogue the Commission plans for two years throughout the developing world and at Oxford University in the UK where it’s based.

__They really want to hear new voices and new ideas from people like you, so be sure to be there, send a comment, or tune in online.

Now I’m also really looking forward to meeting the 12 finalists who worked so hard since last August to get to this final pitching stage. In case you’re new to this page, the competition #Process included:

# Completing a series of four quizzes that included questions about Kwesé and lessons from my posts.

# Submitting written information about their for-profit or not-for-profit ventures.

# Preparing 2-3 minute video pitches to be voted on by people on this Facebook platform and beyond. (Thank you for taking part).

# Driving votes for their video pitches through social media – resulting in the videos being shared tens of millions of times up until 30 November. Wow! It was amazing!

__Will you be in Nairobi to watch two of your peers on this Facebook platform win $100,000 on Friday?

If so, please join us at Strathmore University to take part in this exciting afternoon. Hurry though, because seating is limited and on a first-come, first serve basis. Please register at if you want to attend. Both events are FREE.

If you can’t make it on Friday, please join us online as usual on my Facebook LiveStream. (Did you know last year our Africa and Entrepreneurship Town Halls reached almost 6m Facebook viewers?!)

Now “let’s get this show on the road” as they say. (By the way, Kwesé Inc is going to produce a TV show of the 12 finalists pitches on Friday!) That’s one reason we need you there, on time.

See you in Nairobi.


by 4 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.

4 thoughts on “Pause: #FromWordsToAction

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1

    Our 12 finalists will each have three minutes to make their final LIVE pitches in front of a panel of judges. Three minutes doesn’t sound very long but remember: Preparation is everything. You know all about the “elevator pitch” by now. I’ve shared here before you about my first pitch experiences, and how our team practiced, practiced, practiced… And all these years later, that’s still exactly what we do!

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    When YOU think of a “Pathway for Prosperity” what do YOU think of? Of course, I think of technology and entrepreneurship. The Commissioners are “all ears” for your ideas. Also, if you have some questions you’d like to ask me and the panel at Friday town hall, please write them right here under this Afterthought. We’ll try to make sure the moderator includes a few, as well as comments you send whilst you watch on Facebook LIVE! THIS is one of the beauties of technology.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    The Tech and Entrepreneurship Town Hall on Friday will be unique because it will explore global trends in new technology and also hear from dedicated young entrepreneurs about what they’re doing with tech, responding to new realities in very practical ways (like we all should!) By technology here I mean robotics, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, nanotechnology and blockchain. Is there more you think we should be thinking about? Let’s talk.

  4. Prince Kudzai

    Thank you Dr Masiyiwa for supporting young African entrepreneurs through #GoGettaz. It gives us the energy to strive for the betterment of our continent through innovative ways in all trends. I salute


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *