Strive Masiyiwa gives exclusive African Business interview

The Zimbabwean telecommunications billionaire businessman and philanthropist appears in the November issue of African Business magazine.


Strive Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean telecommunications billionaire businessman and philanthropist, gives an exclusive interview in the November issue of African Business magazine.
This month’s African Business offers readers a unique insight into the world of Strive Masiyiwa, one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. At a time when ‘entrepreneurship’ is becoming a trendy catch phrase, with a myriad of incubators, accelerators, kickstarters, tech hubs used as examples of its success, the founder and executive chairman of the Econet Wireless Group is forthright about the opportunities as well as the challenges of being young in Africa today and of entrepreneurship in general. Entrepreneurship, he says, has the potential to create jobs, but not everyone is an entrepreneur. Too often it is used as a ‘convenient solution’ – and a government ‘cop-out’ in relation to major issues such as youth unemployment. Strive is honest about these pitfalls – many of which he has shared publicly with his global and continental peers.

We have to be very careful…on the one hand we have to stimulate and create hope and get young people to set up businesses and so forth, but if the policymaking isn’t there, if the institutional framework that helps them isn’t there, their anger will explode because we would have sold them a false regime.”
Some leaders – political and business understand entrepreneurship challenges better than others are designing policies and initiatives that are geared towards skills development in relation to education, community engagement and inclusion. These are all prerequisites to successful – and sustainable enterprise – an approach Strive has adopted in building his business empire, which he takes up in this broad-ranging feature.

In the interview with African Business magazine, he also talks about his philanthropy. Masiyiwa splits his time equally between his business interests and philanthropy, which he says, has also created business opportunities. He cites, for example, a meeting with global businessman Richard Branson, where they shared ideas on their philanthropic work that resulted in them developing a business venture together.

Also in the November, newly elected African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina unveils his vision for the institution and sets out his Bank’s ‘refreshed strategy’ for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation. His vision entails an ‘alternative growth model’ for Africa and a stronger emphasis on energy reform, industrialisation and employment creation.  The article explores how he plans to build on the past policy successes of the AfDB, while utilising his extensive experience, including a stint as Nigeria’s agriculture Minister, to deliver the Bank’s new agenda. “We want to light up and power Africa, feed Africa, integrate Africa, industrialise Africa and improve the quality of life”.

The current issue carries a special report on IT and Telecoms which features an interview withNic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, where he outlines his company’s agenda to not only build Africa’s telecommunications infrastructure, but also to expand into the regional content market. The Special Report on the continent’s telecoms revolution includes an infographic on bridging the data gap, looking at the spread of fibre optic cables along with a visual representation of mobile connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ahead of the Africities Summit in South Africa in November 2015, Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments for Africa shares his thoughts on what makes a functioning city, the positive aspects of urbanisation and Africa’s contribution to the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris and the impact of climate change on Africa’s cities.

Lastly following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, Lise Kingo, the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact explains how the new global goals, particularly those related to economic growth, industrialisation and innovation present a huge opportunity to combine business with real sustainability.

The November issue of African Business is out now and on worldwide sale. It has a supplement with its annual ranking of Africa’s most admired and most valuable brands. 

You can also download the digital version at and via Apple and Android app stores.

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