__Dr Sipho Moyo from Zimbabwe (6/10).
These days we are all familiar with the fact that global political leaders meet throughout the year at gatherings such as the UN General Assembly, G7, G20, BRICS, World Bank, IMF, African Union Summits. Global business leaders also have their own gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and Africa.
__sometimes political and business leaders meet together to discuss issues of regional or global concern.
These meetings are important because a complex world requires collaboration.
At all these meetings it has become quite common to find Civil Society leaders represented:
__Any progressive business or political leader now knows that a meeting without a meaningful role for civil society is “meaningless”.
Many of these people come to make sure that issues of extreme poverty, environment, injustice, protection of children, and conflict, are firmly on the agenda. By the time such meetings take place the Civil Society representatives have been working for sometimes months or even years to ensure they get these issues on the agenda.
__the emergence of Civil Society to play this role is without doubt the most important development in global governance in the 21st century and beyond.
It was not always so, and many civil society organisations are still fighting to take their rightful place at the table. The battle continues.
Dr Sipho Moyo who runs the African wing of a global organisation called the ONE Campaign, is without doubt one of the most influential Social Entrepreneurs in the world today. A trained banker with a PHD in economics, this #AfricanLionessRoar left a 12 year career job at the African Development Bank, to go to the frontline of mobilising global responses to issues of extreme poverty, when she took charge of setting up the African unit of the global organisation ONE Campaign.
Sipho and her colleagues know that it is not enough to simply protest, even though they are very good at it; they not only identify a problem but they come up with solutions, and argue forcefully for them to be adopted.
As an Economist Sipho knows that it is important to support what you say with hard data. As an example of what they do, they were recently at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, and also the African Union Summit. The issue this time is that of Women and Girls in Africa.
Here is some shocking data that they shared about the situation that the African girl child, and African woman face, RIGHT NOW:
# A woman in Africa is 100 times more likely to die bringing a new life into the world than a woman in Europe.
# Almost 40,000 girls under the age of 18 become child brides every day, with a greater chance of suffering abuse from their husbands.
# Only a little over 20% of poor rural girls in Africa complete primary education and fewer than 10% finish lower secondary school.
# Of adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, 58% are women.
___’The challenges and injustices that girls and women in the developing world face are many—across all aspects of life—and include structural, social, economic and political barriers. In Africa, far more than anywhere else, women are disproportionately affected by corruption because of reduced access to resources, lower participation in governance and weaker protection of their rights.’ (Dr Sipho Moyo).
I meet Sipho often, and I call her my “little sister”. And whenever I see her I’m reminded of that great injunction to all believers in God, from the Master himself:
“What is it for a man to gain the whole world and to lose his soul?”
__It’s not all about making as much money as you can, or having as much power as possible:
The Master will not ask you, “how much money did you make? Or how high in public office did you rise?”
We all need to get involved in fighting extreme poverty, injustice and exclusion. Get involved in Civil society, and be a Social Entrepreneur.
There are 4 more to go. Some will be social entrepreneurs and others business entrepreneurs. I hope you have been inspired so far.
To be continued…
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.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa