We Need To Build Our Own Enterprises, For The Global Game

Extract from a speech by Strive Masiyiwa

Every year I get approaches from big international companies who want to buy the whole of Econet from me. Some of these offers are usually very generous in their valuations. From a business principle, there is nothing wrong with such approaches. It happens all the time around the world.

There is only one reason I would never sell, and that is because we do not yet have enough high profile multinationals built by Africans, to which young Africans can look to and say to themselves, “yes we can.. We Africans are able to build enterprises which can operate in the global environment!” For the next stage of Africa’s unstoppable march to prosperity this is very important.

Can you imagine Japan without its own Toyotas, or America without Coca Cola? What makes you think Africans do not also want to look up and see large African enterprises? Companies like Econet are there as a beacon to a new generation of African enterprise builders who have dreams to build global companies that will also create wealth for their continent.

Over the next decade, African companies like us will mushroom all over the continent and become global champions; and they will not just be from South Africa, you will see them come from A to Z: Angola to Zimbabwe. There will be global multinationals, in my life time that will come from Malawi, Liberia, and Rwanda. And these companies will operate with the highest standards of ethics, even better than the best of the best today. Even as I am talking young Africans, are beginning to do it; they are thinking big, and without limitations.

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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.

3 thoughts on “We Need To Build Our Own Enterprises, For The Global Game

  1. manwa

    You are one of the wonderful few men in this our continent Africa… you are very true to young generation… you are very true to yourself… you are very true to the world

  2. Eku McGred

    Some time in the future myself and others will look back and identify seeds such as this post and say: praise God for mentors like Dr Strive, we made it happen!


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