Reflection: What does the future look like?

__It’s getting brighter… one tech startup at a time!

One day not so long ago, the parents of a 12-year old boy decided it would be a good idea for him to go to a new school for his next term. He didn’t really want to go at first because the school seemed very formal, there were no girls, and he would have to wear a tie. He even thought of intentionally failing the entrance exam but finally decided to study, and managed to get accepted.

As the story goes, not long after this boy became a student, the teachers at the school happened to get some resources to purchase one bit of machinery: a computer terminal. But neither teachers nor students really knew exactly what to do with it! The new contraption was slow, expensive, and used a lot of electricity…

“The school could have shut down the terminal, or they could have tightly regulated who got to use it,” Bill Gates shared in a commencement speech to Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington.

“Instead, they opened it up. Instead of teaching us about computers in the conventional sense, Lakeside just unleashed us.” This was in the late 1960s, and also where Gates first became friends with Paul Allen, his future business partner and co-founder of Microsoft. The rest as they say, is history.

Now when we at Liquid Telecom first started laying high-speed fibre cable 14 years ago, with a vision to connect people from Cape to Cairo (and East to West, too), we didn’t yet know the full power it would have to help transform the lives of people, businesses and nations across the African continent.

Earlier this week, I asked one of my top Liquid Telecom execs what we have been doing recently in the innovation and tech education space across Africa. His Executive Report knocked my socks off.

The Liquid Telecom Innovation Partnership Initiative was set up in 2017 to find new ways to support the growth of digital technology innovation across Africa, leveraging all our Econet Group infrastructure and platforms. It’s always had both commercial and social objectives.

__We want to make money, of course, we are a business! But we also want to create digital jobs for youth across the continent in the new “Gig” economy.

# Innovation hubs

Through key partnerships with AfriLabs and Network of Incubators and Innovators Nigeria, I learned that we now reach about 200 innovation hubs (50 in Nigeria alone) connecting 250k+ people and 10k+ startups in 36 countries.

Last month, one of our partner hubs in Zambia, Bongohive, made world headlines after it showcased its innovations to Prince Harry. It also received a presidential award for Best Entrepreneurship & Innovation Company of 2018!

# Universities

Through our partnerships, we reach out to over 750k students across the continent, and are focusing on developing a number of student initiatives such as game development, eSports, entrepreneurship, and digital skills development (data science, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, etc.).

# Startups acceleration

Through Liquid GoCloud we are working with 200 startups (early and middle stage with a few mature startups) to develop their products and business through our partners (and also create companies that utilize our infrastructure and platforms!) We are looking at how to assist them to scale up their businesses across Africa.

# 21st century skills development

By 21st century skills I mean data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, Internet of Things, cloud and game development. These skills will enable Africa to compete in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Last month we launched a digital skills platform and already have a pipeline of 2,000+ students keen to be trained through our corporate and NGO partners. We are just getting started, but currently have 326 data science students from about 10 countries across Africa studying in the Microsoft Masters in Data Science program.

# Competitions (which Liquid Telecom is supporting or partnering with)

–The DataHack4FI. We have partnered with a startup competition called DataHack4FI that looks to the power of data science to improve financial inclusion and development of data-driven products. Utilizing our network and cloud-based services, entrants in the competition use data and analytics to solve problems, faced by both individuals and communities.

–Zindi is a platform that aims to build a network of over 20k data scientists to solve challenges across the continent. One of the competitions, co-sponsored by Uber, challenges data scientists to imagine a public transport solution to the traffic in Nairobi! You can Google and find out more.

# Synergies with all our Econet Group

Business is business! As we deliver such initiatives, we always prioritize our group companies such as Cassava SmarTech, DPA and Cumii. Cassava helps the startups introduce payment gateway platforms for their products and services and providing them with greater reach across Africa. Cumii helps through the Technites who also deliver services for some of the startups.

# Partnerships

All of this work is possible because we have built a number of partnerships focused on supporting startups and youth. These include AfriLabs, AfDB, GIZ, IFC Venture Fund, Microsoft for Africa, Naspers, Network of Incubators and Innovators Nigeria, Sigfox Foundation, Strathmore University, UNDP, and UNICEF, as well as CSIR, DTI and SEDA from the South Africa government, among others. I will write more on this later.

But now… back to the question I asked you right at the beginning of this post:

__What does the future look like?

I want you to tell me.

What you choose to see and do — or not — will make all the difference.



by 29 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.

29 thoughts on “Reflection: What does the future look like?

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Fidelis from Tanzania writes (edited)

    After reading your posts and comments I came across description on our domestic stock exchange here in Tanzania i.e Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), Together with other parts I went through the top ten listed companies and their profiles, i found that DSE also is among the listed,
    1.I would like to undestand how comes a Stock Exchange itself appear on a list

    2. Is it possible to list a Business on the international Stock Exchange even if it was not yet listed in the domestic Stock Exchange, eg I registered my business in Tanzania, then i list it on Johannesburg Stock Exchange? If YES, then what are the advantages in a business

    Mwigulu Mwashida

    My reply,
    #1. Yes you can list a Stock Exchange. Most of the world’s largest stock exchanges are listed on Stock Exchanges.

    #2. If as an entrepreneur you decide to list in order to raise capital, you might find that your country’s capital market does not have the capacity to raise the money you need.
    At this point you might choose to go to another market.
    When Jack Ma wanted to list Alibaba, he chose to go to New York rather than use a Chinese Exchange. This was a shrewd move because NYSE is the biggest in the world, and has the most liquidity to support such a big company.

    In Africa it is still very difficult to list a company outside the country because of laws, and exchange controls.

    Nigerians, Kenyans, and South Africans have always been able to enjoy freedom of raising capital from anywhere with lessor restrictions. It explains why they have the largest number of big companies in Africa.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    The most valued staff in any organization in which I’m involved are always the innovators. People who are constantly looking for new products or new ways to provide services and to products. I demand it of everybody. In our organization the quickest way to get my attention is to tell me you have an innovation to discuss.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    Nothing that Liquid Telecom is doing to help young entrepreneurs by supporting Africa’s tech and innovation hubs was my initiative. This is the work of a guy called Ben Roberts, our Group Innovation and Technology Officer, along with his Innovation Partnership team. He even moved his team to operate from the Nairobi Garage, an excellent tech hub in Nairobi. That’s how passionate he is. What I have shared with you in this post was in his Executive Report.

    The post is a lot longer than usual… but I wanted to share some Africa-future making that’s underway across the continent.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.

    These innovation partnerships are important for many reasons, and not just because they help support entrepreneurs across Africa…

    # They give us access to new investment opportunities, opening doors for our group to invest in and help scale up companies that have synergies with our own businesses.

    # They help us meet highly skilled #people across many business sectors.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 5.

    “The experience and insight Paul Allen and I gained here (at secondary/high school) gave us the confidence to start a company based on this wild idea that nobody else agreed with — that computer chips were going to become so powerful that computers and software would become a tool that would be on every desk and in every home,” said Bill Gates.

    As a result of the way his teachers “did everything to make their lessons matter,” Gates says he was better able to understand the relevance of computers in the real world.

    For those of you interested, here’s a link to the commencement address in 2005 where Bill Gates shares the critical ways his teachers inspired him and demanded excellence, even when he was already getting some top marks…

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    The CEO of one of the largest oil companies operating in Africa once approached me for advice:
    “Our operation is very modern and needs only a few people, but I’m under increasing pressure to provide jobs. What can I do?”
    Upon seeing that he was sincere, I gave the following advice:
    “Support local entrepreneurship development and they will provide many more jobs than you could ever imagine.”

    Large companies can do a lot to help create an environment for entrepreneurship and jobs creation, without employing people they don’t need.
    At Econet in Zimbabwe, we are helping young people set up sanitation businesses to keep their communities clean and protected from Cholera.
    Our Tech Hub Muzinda trains 2000 entrepreneurs every year.
    Liquid Telecom supports tech hubs in countries like Kenya and Nigeria.

    CEOs of bigger African companies need to go the extra mile, and help young people by simply giving them exposure, and mentor ship.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tserai writes,

    I have an innovation to discuss sir, can partner with Steward bank sir,

    My reply,
    At Cassava Fintech, which also owns our bank, we have thousands of people, some with PhDs, whose job it is to come up with innovative new ideas for products and services.
    Coming up with ideas is what they are paid for.

    At any given time there are scores of new ideas being discussed and evaluated by these professional teams, and their leaders.
    After the ideas are evaluated, and if approved, they are put into development with budgets, and expert resources.

    This is how big companies operate.
    It is extremely difficult to get their attention on the basis of a “partnership of an idea”.
    If you have an idea go ahead and implement it, demonstrate it by creating a start up business. That is what will give you the respect to be taken seriously.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #How do we decide on the value of a business?

    There are people who study this subject at university even at the level of Masters and PhD.

    There are professionals who work just in this field, and are paid millions of dollars.
    In a IPO for instance there is a lot of professional work behind an evaluation.

    As an entrepreneur, it is one of the most important topics you must master, even if you don’t go for a PhD in the subject.

    I love to do valuations, because I don’t work for nothing!

    Many people have no clue how businesses are actually valued!

    Now that I have alerted some of you, make it your business to become an expert in this field.
    If someone asks you how much your business is worth, then you must be able to answer precisely and scientifically!

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Arome Adejoh Yusuf,

    I’ve refused to give out percentages of my agri business because I’m having a difficult time with this part. But I’ve decided that if an investor will give me enough capital to cater for a reasonable part of our most pressing & long term concerns, such that we can focus more completely on growth, then we can discuss percentages. But until then, its joint venture partnerships for us.

    My reply,
    The understanding you have of this subject will not take you very far as a modern entrepreneur.
    Everything you say in this short note suggests you are still trying to get to grips with a lot of things.
    Let me give you some examples [for your benefit and others too]:

    “If an investor will GIVE me enough capital to cater for a reasonable part of our most pressing and long term concerns…”
    #This is not an “investor”—may be your father—-but not an INVESTOR!
    Many people in Africa confuse Investors with DONORS!

    #”percentages” are not calculated by you!

    If you go to a real investor, they will ask you first for financials based on previous performance of the business. This will determine the VALUE of the business.
    Then they will look at the BUSINESS PLAN, to determine how much money you need for growth, and profitability.
    This will determine the “percentage” they will get using the Value of the business.
    If it means they get 10% or 70%, that is how it is determined. If you don’t like it, then they leave you alone, and you remain small, until someone more capitalized than you comes in and builds a proper business!

    This game has rules, son, and they are not determined by us!
    You cannot say you want to play football with a rugby ball!

    Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates…all the big guys out there, played by these rules to get where they are. Some of them own as little as 10%..

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Lungani Ndumiso writes,

    You multiply annual profits by a number between 3 and 13 years, this is one of the ways you can value a business

    My reply,
    I wish it was that simple then we would all just go collect PHDs from Harvard!
    You are not going to be a greater entrepreneur unless you sit back, and appreciate this is a very big entrepreneurial subject—one of the biggest!

    I have read more 50 books on this subject alone, and thousands of articles!

    And I have done hundreds of deals, and bought into many businesses, and sold others:

    I’m still learning about this subject, and every day I learn more things!
    You could read about this subject every day for a year, and still be a beginner, but at least you would be better than the entrepreneur, who does not even appreciate the complexity involved in valuations.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    The Eagle in a storm series!


    So many people have often asked me around the world, how I was able to come out of the crippling hyper inflation which reached 500,000,000% in 2008.

    The answer is very simple actually:
    I bought stocks on the local exchange, because it was clear that they were outperforming inflation!

    We used our own shares to pay staff salaries, as well as key local suppliers.

    We produced our own coins demarcated in “airtime”. Many people have long forgotten that we actually had our own coins, which were accepted by shops.
    They were produced by the South African Reserve Bank on a special contract. They were a physical form of the bitcoin cryptocurrency!

    If Zimbabwe did not have a Stock Exchange, we would have lost practically everything.

    As it was we came out virtually unscathed!

    Even our pension fund survived. We are the only company that did not lose its workers pensions. Most people lost their pension and life insurance plans.

    Every week we sent a truck from South Africa with essential commodities for our staff and their families.

    One day I will write a book about this…
    One thing I know is that there is no one anywhere in the world who went through a higher hyper inflation.

    We came out of that situation bigger, stronger, and more profitable…

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ra Icon writes,

    Sir i remember even before Facebook started cashing out, Peter Thiel invested some amount of cash into it for a certain percentage, was this a donor or an investor? Because literally what he saw was a growing business that hadn’t even any cash flow yet.

    My reply,
    Peter Thiel is an investor. He is not a donor.
    I see a lot of comments on this platform which suggest that some entrepreneurs confuse donors, and investors, as being one and the same thing…they are not!

    A donor is someone who just wants to help you because he or she feels sorry for your situation.

    An investor is someone who is looking to become a “part owner in your business”. Once they put money into your business, it is no longer YOUR business, but you own it together.

    Some investors come in for a short time, and later sell their shares (but not necessarily to you). Some are there forever.

    If you intend for an investor to leave at some point, then you should rather approach a lender.

    Serious investors are extremely wary [and should be] of anyone who wants them to leave at some point in future. It should be totally at the investor’s discretion if and when they decide to leave.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Sawula writes,

    I read your book “How to Build a Multi-Billion dollar Business in Africa from Scratch.” I can confirm sir that you tap your wisdom from the source of ALL WISDOM and WEALTH – GOD.

    Blessed are we as your disciples in entrepreneurship.

    My reply,
    I did not write that book, and I don’t know anything about it.
    My writings are found only on this platform, and no where else.

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Arome Adejoh Yusuf writes,

    I own a few businesses fronted by other people, because the rules do not favour me (qualification, experience, religion, & tribe); all you need is a good legal adviser. Thankfully, I’ve got a young & HUNGRY group here in Nigeria: they always want more & I try to catch up as much as possible. Get your laws interpreted & find your way intelligently.

    My reply,
    This is the second time I have commented on something you have said, in as many days. I see an extraordinary potential in you but it will only be realized fully if you rid yourself of some beliefs that you hold.
    Let me give you an example:

    You state:

    “I own a few businesses fronted by other people, because the rules do not favour me (qualification, experience, religion, & tribe)”

    This is sadly not true:
    For every single reason you give, I can find you someone who succeeded that had this so called disadvantage.

    The worst thing you can do to yourself in life is see yourself as a victim, and to erect barriers against yourself simply based on presumptions.

    Even if all these disadvantages are true, they are not a factor in your life.
    And it goes for all of you out there:

    #There is nothing that can stop an entrepreneur, who does not want to be stopped!


    I want to position you to build big businesses that will span the African continent, and it will never happen if you hold these kind of beliefs.

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Gwinyai SITHOLE writes,

    There are so many ways that are used to measure the value of a business. Basically, all the ways used are grouped into three ways namely: income based,cashflow based and asset based. The method to be used is dependent on a lot of factors eg is the company listed on a stock exchange? Is it unlisted, what about the assets of that business etc. It is very rare to find an ideal valuation of a business by using a single valuation method. That said,its useful to use more than one valuation method, with asset based valuation methods providing the base value of an entity being valued. I thank you.

    My reply,
    Spot on!
    Keep studying and polishing up.
    I just read a report by INVESTEC BANK OF South Africa, which valued Cassava Zimbabwe at $5.8bn.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Congratulations to Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe!

    This morning Archbishop Ezekiel Gutu [age 95] and his wife Pastor Eunor Guti, were our guests of honors, and rung the bell to start the trading of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe. He blessed the occasion with prayers of Thanksgiving to God.

    The Deputy Governor of the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank was also present as a special guest and gave an amazing speech on financial inclusion.

    Trading has started!
    Shares are already $1.90/ share.
    This values the company at $4.9bn.
    What more can I say?
    “We give glory to our God!”
    Thank you Jesus.

  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    At the end of trading in Zimbabwe today:
    The top three counters in order of market capitalization are as follows:

    1. Cassava – $ 3.88 billion
    2. Econet – $ 3.78 billion
    3. Delta – $ 3.62 billion [a brewery and beverage company in which we have no interest]

    Cassava and Econet at a combined market capitalization of $ 7.66 billion, this represents about 40% of the ZSE total market capitalization. The total market capitalization is now $ 19.714 billion.

  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Thabiso Dlamini writes,

    I had to cancel my holiday trip to participate in this IPO, am very happy to own shares in this business from day one. This was very important to me.

    It opened at 48.80C and went as high as US$1.90. The activity aggregates were boosted by heavy trades in Cassava where 1.99m shares worth $2.97m exchanged hands. The trades in Cassava accounted for 33.94% of the volume aggregate and 37.11% on the value outturn.

    Now that an early Christmas investment, today I will sleep in peace. I also rejoice for Zimbabwean economy as this will attract foreign currency, and foreign direct investments, while also boosting business confidence.

    My reply,
    This was an entrepreneurial response to an opportunity.
    I love it!
    So here is what I’m going to do:
    I’m going to give 1000 shares in Cassava as a gift.
    My hope is that you will hold them forever.
    When you get them put them away, and attend all shareholder meetings. Be a long term owner, never moved to sell.

    Merry CHRISTmas!

  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Thabiso Dlamini ,
    I’m going to gift you 1000 shares in Cassava of my own, as a Christmas present. You will get them after the holiday. Do not ever sell them, but give them to your own children.
    Merry CHRISTmas.

  20. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Okolie Chuks writes,

    Dr strive ndewo(thank you). I am from a tribe where we have big CEOs but due to the mentality we have over here, people believe that rich men should dash them money but I strongly believe that this rich men can do more for us than just dash out money. But I don’t know how to go about it that it won’t look like insult.

    My reply,
    It is extremely difficult if not impossible for me to give you any advice. The reason is I never see myself from a perspective of a member of a “tribe”. I have never discussed anything with anyone in my life from a tribal perspective. I disdain tribe talk.

    When I returned to Zimbabwe after independence, I was once invited to a meeting by some highly respected business and political leaders, who told me they wanted me to be part of an elite group from my tribe. I was so angry I nearly left the country. I told them “Zimbabwe is my tribe”. They told me I was naive and would never progress. They were lying and simply trying to manipulate me.

    When I meet non-Africans, I say “I’m an African from Zimbabwe.” If anyone asks my tribe I ignore the question.

    Even if you see yourself as someone from a persecuted Tribe, still reach out as best you can to people from other tribes within your nation.

    Don’t submit to beliefs that nurture and sustain corruption, such as this:
    “People believe that rich men should dash out money”. This is a license for politicians from their tribe to go and steal public funds on their behalf!


  21. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Dominic writes,

    Owning a publicly listed company is my Dream, the dream is to list in Johannesburg Stock Exchange even though my company is located in Kenya……. I know it’s not going to be easy but am prepared to pay the price… Am learning alot from this page….. The Future is very promising

    My reply,
    I love your dream:
    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is Africa’s biggest and most liquid market.

    Having said that, I have a lot of respect for the Nairobi Stock Exchange. I would
    gladly list a company on that exchange.

    Data also suggests that the general Kenyan public are the most knowledgeable about investment through Stock Markets. In most African countries (that have an exchange), the general public have no idea, or are even hostile to their national exchange. Many are even oblivious to the fact that it is their savings through pension funds, and life policies, that actually sustain those exchanges.

  22. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    The listing of Cassava gave us all a lot of opportunity to discuss the issue of listing a company on a Stock Exchange.
    Before I leave the subject I want to leave you with two very important thoughts for you to reflect on:

    #1. The wealth of the richest people in the world is held mostly through shares in companies that are listed on Stock Exchanges.
    How much of your own wealth is held through Shares in businesses?

    As I have revealed to you before I made this observation when I was just getting started in my working career.
    I had a share portfolio of shares I held for the long term as investments.
    Before buying any shares, I studied carefully every company, and its founders, as well as managers.
    I never jumped about chopping and changing.
    I held the share certificates myself and did not leave them in the hands of brokers, who might con me into selling or might even sell without telling me!
    If you buy land or a house , you don’t leave title deeds in the hands of an Estate Agent, so why would you leave your shares in the hands of brokers?!
    So many people have been cheated because of this carelessness, or their families have been left without knowing about such shares!
    I buy shares in a business to be a #Co-owner, with talented entrepreneurs!

    #2. Trading in shares:
    Buying shares to trade, is something I have never done, and will never do!
    The reason is simple:
    I’m not skilled enough to do it!
    I don’t want to find myself chasing share prices on a daily basis like a maniac. It’s like a guy who plants a seed and digs it up daily to see if it is growing.
    Trading in shares is best left to the professionals.
    Don’t let anyone persuade you to buy and sell shares daily. You will get burnt!

    I have friends who bought shares in Econet Zimbabwe in 1998 @ a valuation of the company of $10m. The company is now worth $8bn after its recent split!
    I have a friend who bought shares in Apple when it first listed!!!

  23. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    # Don’t resist change:

    1. Change is the only constant in life; whether it is changing seasons, relationships, jobs, houses, finances, or anything else. It is important that you understand that you will constantly face “change”.


    2. There are 5 reasons why people resist change, even when their very existence is at stake:
    (#1). Pride:
    – pride says, ‘I don’t need to change, there is nothing wrong with me…’.

    – people sometimes know they need to change, and yet they fear.

    – people just refuse to change. They will declare, ‘I don’t care, I have been like this for 40 years, I’m not going to change now.”

    – some people just find the effort required to change just too involved. They are just not willing to spend the time, or money, that change requires of them.

    (#5). Ignorance:
    – some people just don’t know they need to change

    [Taken from a teaching by Dr AR Bernard]

    [Dr AR Bernard is a Pastor friend of mine whom I have known for more than 25 years]

  24. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    When I first joined the board of an American organization one of the things that really intrigued me was discovering that ordinary blue collar workers actually own shares directly, and not just through their Pension Funds.
    They discuss stock prices in the same way they discuss sports results. Even a doorman will tell you “Dow is down today, sir. I’m worried about my 401k.”

    In Africa, even the most sophisticated professionals shun investment through stock exchanges, and end up buying mini buses, and trucks, which are far much riskier!
    And when they do buy shares, they become schizophrenic and end up in a panic sell!
    I asked a lawyer friend of mine the other day in Harare, “what happened to your Econet shares that you bought when I listed?”
    “I sold long ago, because my broker advised me to sell.”
    “Why did you go to him, when you could have asked me?”

  25. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Christian writes,

    Thank you sir. It has been my life dream to own at least 1% share at Econet/cassava. I may not figure out how it will happen but I know deep down it will happen.

    My reply,
    It is good to set yourself goals, but remember to set yourself a goal you can begin working on today. 1% of Econet Zimbabwe is already $80m. You might want to diversify your portfolio!

    Focus on accumulating on the basis of a minimum number that you can buy which in this case is 100 shares.

    The % shareholding you own in a public listed company is really not that important when you are an investor, unless you are trying to find a way to control that company.
    As someone just noted Jeff Bezos [the richest man in the world] has 16% of the company that made him the richest man in the world. Bill Gates used to own 22% of Microsoft.
    How a company is really controlled [particularly a public listed company] is a very complex subject.
    In the companies where I have shares, I review every few months how they are performing. If I’m not happy I sell. That is the beauty of the market.

  26. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Richard Kapansa writes,

    Mr Strive Masiyiwa , as I read about a 21 year old tech wizard in coding from Ghana oddris on CNN today, your name came on my mind. This guy has worked for uber, Instagram and others tech giants and he intends to go back to Ghana and help solve many of our problems with his exposure and talent.
    What strikes me the most is his response:
    The next tech giants will come from Africa. And when asked why he thinks like that his response was that because we have many problems and we are the solution… now thats the mentality of an entrepreneur.
    If there is a guy who deserve a lunch with you is this guy because you in the same field has him and if you are busy atleast one of your stuffs can get hold of this guy.
    If this guy succeed we all succeed, PLEASE help mentor this guy for the good of Africa.

    My reply,
    Although I have not yet heard of him, I will be sure to follow up when he starts his work back in Africa.
    There is however one guy I would like to meet one day myself:
    His name is Richard Kapansa!
    My reason is the selfless manner in which you approached this request. It was not about you, but about someone else. You have a beautiful spirit. Your humility was shining!

    So Richard, I’m directing my team to follow up on you, and next time I’m in your part of the country I will invite you over.

    I don’t really do lunches, I leave that to Mr Buffett.

  27. Stephen Kamugasa

    Dear Dr Masiyiwa,

    In answer to your question: What does the future look like?

    I dream of an African continent bursting at the seams with problem solvers. By so dreaming I am placing on the record that I believe in the potential for change; and it is the reason young people like Leah, that is, the next generation, should always come first in all our endeavours. And we their teachers, must by implication, be next to none. It is a tall order by any stretch of imagination. It is something which is doable however, and your excellent blogs are in this instance a very good testament to the fact. But we must take out time if we are to ensure enduring success.

    In my blogpost, “Bloody Independence – we wuz robbed! – Part 2″ I addressed this very issue thus: “25. Cognizant as we are that many African youth are under the influence of Western cultural relativism and therefore are experiencing something akin to acedia; it is critical that we apply our best endeavours not leave the future of Africa to chance. We should start by accepting a simple fact that those of us, of a certain generation and older, our time has probably come and gone. We are now yesterday’s men and women. And, as such it behooves us to support those who will come after us, that is, the next generation.

    26. The next generation is young but has no experience. They are liable to make what we might describe as a ‘young person’s mistakes’; they may not apply themselves with sufficient rigour to the small but hugely important business of nation building. Unless we help the next generation to set the wheels in motion, there is a real danger that they will lose a great deal of time and may even repeat our mistakes, the rather because, being young and inexperienced, they may be tempted to put off or even underestimate the difficult undertaking which is before them; whereas, if we enthuse and equip them, and have resources ready to hand, the most challenging part of the work would be over, and this might encourage them to get on with the fiendishly complex work of nation building in the strength of their youth.

    27. In preparing the next generation, we should look upon the task rather like building a house. As a school boy, I well remember how during my school holidays I used to be dispatched to some building site or other; my father was in the building industry. One remarkable experience I remember was seeing how sub-contractors would work diligently laying foundations of a house, and how they would carry it up to a certain height; and that was that, they had done their work. The rest of the work fell to another group of sub-contractors; who carried up the wall, and put on the roof, and so forth. I believe we should do likewise. We should be content with preparing the next generation, that is, make it our business to gather the raw materials upon which another shall work. Yes, we may plough and sow; but it must needs fall to another to come and water the seed, and perhaps yet another to gather the harvest. By doing thus we will at least not act like ‘dumb driven cattle’ – driven this way or that way by one circumstance or other; rather, we should seize hold of this opportunity to reset the future of the African continent with a noble purpose, and pursue that purpose with all our might.”

    That’s why I fully endorse your work – especially with regard to education. For I am persuaded that “the chief object of [education] is not only to train up a pupil to attain the highest possible examination result, but also to equip a pupil with the critical skills necessary to climb the steep of life’s challenges. It is essential we teach our children critical problem solving skills, compassion or emotional intelligence, and interpersonal communication skills. Global events, especially in places such as Syria, in the Middle East, show that we live in dangerous times; it is all the more reason why we should do all we can to equip the next generation, with all possible skills necessary to navigate their way if they are to have any hope of surviving, both at home and abroad.” See: “Please sir, do not belittle teachers; esteem them – 2018 Edition.”

    Your work is worthwhile. May the God bless you in all your endeavours.


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