Image caption: Zingiziwa, Malawi (solar-powered water pump for irrigation and water supply).

#Re-ImagineRural (Part 1)

__What have you been doing in rural Africa? 

There are young entrepreneurs and thinkers who are beginning to #Re-imagineRural. They are thinking of entrepreneurial solutions that could improve the lives of millions of people who live throughout the African continent, far from urban centers. Many of these ideas will help draw investments and resources and may even stimulate national economic development by creating demand for locally manufactured products such as cement and roofing materials.

Bringing innovative ideas to rural areas is one of the key frontiers of African entrepreneurship. We need to move on from the only source of employment being rural stores, butchers, and grinding mills!

Armed with our degrees and diplomas we need to find new ways to bring commerce into our hinterlands that will help make them thrive. We need fresh ideas for tackling problems that have long been ignored by policymakers and entrepreneurs.

China and India are beginning to take the bull by the horns and getting smart entrepreneurs to focus on rural businesses with stunning results! I follow them both very closely. Israel is probably the world’s leader when it comes to using rural entrepreneurship as a platform for national development.

It is virtually impossible to tackle unemployment if we cannot #Re-ImagineRural!

If we do not #Re-ImagineRural, we will just end up with ever-growing urban slums and despair amongst the youth who have fled to the cities seeking non-existent jobs.

I’m intrigued with the idea that one can even make millions of dollars through ventures that are directed entirely at rural consumers, as well as through innovative new local partnerships. I might not be the only one thinking about this.

What are you thinking about?

#RuralAgriculture (e.g.production, disposal, preservation, processing and marketing)

#RuralBanking

#RuralCommunications

#RuralEducation

#RuralHealth

#RuralIndustries

#RuralLand

#RuralNutrition

#RuralPower

#RuralSanitation

#RuralServiceDelivery

#RuralSupportServices (local research and development)

#RuralTourism

#RuralTrading

#RuralTransport

#RuralWater

__These are just some general categories you all know about, but as an entrepreneur, what do you see? What do you hear? I would love to hear your success stories, large or small.

Let’s talk. I’m listening!

Maybe I can invest in what you are doing!

What have you been doing so far in rural Africa, as an entrepreneur?

I want to buy eggs!

To be continued. . .

 

by 9 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.

9 thoughts on “#Re-ImagineRural (Part 1)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    Next week I am going to the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali, Rwanda. The focus at AGRF this year is “Enabling New Pathways to Turn Smallholders into Sustainable Agribusinesses.” I will also have a Town Hall on September 6th at 5 pm CAT with very special guest, HE President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. I think it’s already sold out, but we are planning to LiveStream here on my FB platform as usual. https://agrf.org Stay tuned!

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    “We have to make sure that smallholder farmers, who produce nearly 70% of all food consumed worldwide, are at the heart of all our efforts (to achieve sustainable development goals). Government and the private sector can and must form innovative partnerships with farmers’ organizations and smallholders, providing access to better seeds, sustainable farming techniques, and modern technologies…” Kofi Annan, March 2017. https://www.kofiannanfoundation.org/combatting-hunger/agriculture-sdgs/

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Austin writes,

    I do not know what subriquet Koffi Annan was given by politicians in Kenya he had extremely clear sense of limits and space.
    But friends nicknamed him, “DOMO” which endured to this day, because of his right-of-center political view

    An attempt to research have led me into a very powerful discovery about the negotiation in Kenya:
    “A Choice for Peace? The Story of
    Forty-One Days of Mediation in Kenya”

    One of the most powerful and well stated negotiations ever documented on African soil at Harrembe House with key players in the negotiation as: Mwai
    Kibaki, Raila Odinga, Kofi Annan, Benjamin
    Mkapa, and Jakaya Kikwete were the only people
    party to the entire discussion.

    I read the entire report and here is link to the white paper (PDF):
    https://www.google.com.ng/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/KenyaMediation_IPI2009.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiSrtjAsZbdAhXnAsAKHRhwDvEQFjANegQIABAB&usg=AOvVaw0ZrIdtifzDIRAXp_MDRHvD

    Dr Strive, permit me to henceforth refer to you as “Chief” which is also the ecclesiastic definition of “sir” for always giving me and others here what I call ‘The Third Eye’ TTE.
    Thank you chief for the gift of wisdom and teaching. I shall play a big role someday in African Union with the type of exposure you are giving me here.

    At least staying awake all night to research and read through the above document was worth the time and sacrifice.
    I wish I get to attend his funeral with you sir is my first and last request of this great man.

    My reply,
    I will ask my Assistant to arrange for you to travel with us to Ghana, as part of my delegation. You can represent the people on this platform.

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Aderini writes,

    Good morning Dr strive masiyiwa ,I’m currently using the power of mobile technology and low cost innovations to tackle maternal and infant mortality in rural areas in Nigeria .In most rural areas ,you find pregnant women having home delivery or using the service of traditional birth attendant which as a result of this ,they use any available equipment to have delivery like broken glass or rusty blade due to the broken healthcare system in this areas .So at HelpMum,we provide rural women in this kind of community with the HelpMum clean birth kit that contains all the essential supplies/tools a mother needs during delivery so as to able to have a clean ,safe and hygienic delivery .We also use the power of mobile technology like SMS to relay life saving health information to this rural pregnant wowen and nursing mothers in their own indigenous language so that they have access to some basic health information on nutrition ,diarrhea management ,zoonosis awareness etc at their finger tips

    This is our website to find out more about us sir
    http://www.helpmum.org

    Thank you sir

    My reply,
    You deserve more than a “shout out”!
    Yours is an “amen, and amen!”
    Now I will write a full post on your work.
    My team will reach out to you so we can learn more. One of my daughters has been assigned the mission to learn more about your work, so expect a call from them.
    I salute you and your colleagues.

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mwangi writes,

    Rural dairy farming. Grouping farmers together and providing Milk coolers in every village.

    My reply,
    India has what they call the “White Revolution”—whereby they helped rural households get a milk cow.
    The milk is then collected by entrepreneurs who deliver to schools, and also make products like cheese etc.
    On one of my trips to India I actually witnessed it for myself.
    Rwanda has embarked on a similar initiative to give a cow to each rural family.
    If governments empower local schools to buy eggs and milk for children, we can stimulate rural industrial development.
    This is not rocket science.
    Now with solar power we can introduce cheap refrigerators into rural communities.
    This is what I’m thinking about when I call for @Re-ImagineRural.

    Reply
  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Dr Ashokumar writes,

    In India ,a State Govt. Tamilnadu gives 5 goats free of cost to the to the woman of every rural household. It has helped to improve the rural economy by empowering women.

    My reply,
    Thank you sharing this information. It is greatly appreciated.
    Welcome to the platform.

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tatenda writes,

    We are in the same space on idle capacity, through http://www.parceltip.com this should help us significantly cut on fuel imports as Africa and save of importation of vehicle parts among other issues…through utilisation of excess capacity but it will also save on time bringing efficiency to the whole of Africa. If transportation becomes cheap, the cost of doing business in Africa will also be significantly reduce and through the multiplier effect this will get Africa achieve a $30trillion quicker than the projected 50years from now.

    My reply,
    Beautiful website.
    Looks good to me.

    Reply
  8. 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
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    William writes, (edited)

    This afterthought Strive points clearly what makes great leaders to be great: the ability to be good.

    My reply,
    There was a time in my life when my primary interest was my studies, and then it was building my career, and then it was building family, and then my business.

    You can be so consumed by this and anyone of these things that you find yourself tired exhausted and unable to find time for others, but this is exactly when you need to look for ways to go out and do something GOOD for others, otherwise your life is misspent!

    Looking back I find always that I could have taken more time out to help others.

    You don’t have to wait until you have been successful at whatever you are pursuing before you take time out to do something simply to be helpful.

    It could be through a local school, charity, community organization, religious outreach.
    A life in which all you can account for is what you did for yourself and your family reminds me of someone who owns a Ferrari super car, and has only driven it at 20 km/ hr!
    Today go out and be the Supercar you really are. Being too busy is often a sign of simply not being sufficiently organized in your approach.

    See!
    I had time to write you this, and yet I will fly to Rwanda today; chair the largest Agricultural forum, hold numerous meetings with heads of state, and even find time to go and name a baby Gorilla!
    But I’m not busy!

    Reply

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