__For our children, our schools, our businesses, our nations.
It is not enough to articulate a great vision. You must articulate exactly how you are going to make it happen, including its financing. That is what serious people are waiting to hear from you, before they open their pockets to invest their hard-earned money.
After listening to Fred Swaniker explain to me his vision for African Leadership University whilst I was visiting them in Mauritius, I was staggered by the audacity of it all. It was like listening to Deng Xiaoping explain how China would become a global economic power in 50 years.
“This is a great vision Fred, but it will cost an incredible amount of money,” I said. “Show me how you expect to finance even a fraction of it.”
At that question, Fred just lit up with excitement: “We have it all figured out. Do you have time?”
I listened to their presentation. They did not ask me for money.
Finally, I said “Yes, this works.” Then I added: “Can I make a small investment myself?”
Fred and his team have a world-class vision,#people, #process, #product and also a #plan to scale it all going forward. Their focus is the highest standard of educational excellence, “not just ‘good enough for Africa’,” he says, “but the best in the world.”
Wow! I’ll talk a bit more about this in my next post.
Now before I jump to my next meeting, let me say something briefly here to the #LionDads, as some of you seem to feel a little bit left out. Whilst the current series may be about saluting #women who are #lionesses when it comes to raising Africa’s next generation, it’s not just for moms. Fathers must get involved as well. Listen carefully to me, guys!
# The days when you simply dropped off a child at school as you rushed off to work are over. That may soon be nothing more than reckless irresponsibility!
# We have to get involved in the education of our children, beyond the school gate or the sports field.
# We have to take charge of the schools, and the classrooms; it is too important to leave it in the hands of governments alone.
# We have to pay attention to what the children are being taught, and ensure that it is fit for purpose.
There’s nothing more important you will do today (including your job), than attending to the needs of your children’s education.
As a popular pastor likes to say: “Turn to your neighbor and say: ‘Neighbor, it’s time to raise our game, because we are now in the Champions League playoffs, and there’s no more room to play around!’”
People like Fred Swaniker, Babatunde Soyoye, and Juliana Rotich have raised the bar, and look who is hot on their heels: It’s Ethan from Tanzania, and the two young lads from Nigeria!
It’s getting hot out there! Are you getting you and your families ready?
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss the mark, but that it is too low and we reach it…”
It’s been about 400+ years since the great artist Michelangelo said this or something like it, and there’s at least one thing that has definitely not changed since then:
# If you don’t aim for the stars, you will definitely not get there.
To be continued. . .
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa