Skills of the future (Part 5)

Skills of the future (Part 5)

__Delivering on promises made at Botswana town hall.

Some of you will recall that amazing town hall I held recently with the President of Botswana, His Excellency Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi. During our discussion, I offered to help young entrepreneurs in Botswana by training them for the new digital economy. When I got back to London, I convened some of our key executives and asked them to create a Task Force to ensure I delivered on each one of my promises. Today I want to report back to you on progress so far:

1. Creating a coding school: first cohort of 500 student trainees selected and program launched.

HE President Masisi told me he was very keen to train experts in the new field of coding, one of the crucial skills for the new digital economy that we have been talking about in this series.

I am excited to tell you today that 500 students have now been selected and provided full scholarships for the training which will take place over six months. 60% are women! The photo for this post is one of our first days…

# To lead the Muzinda Hub Botswana initiative (located at the Innovation Hub of Botswana), we identified an amazing Motswana social entrepreneur called Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, one of the first female pilots in Botswana. She’s also founder and president of “Dare to Dream”. Captain Phatsima is one of the most talented entrepreneurs I have come across in Africa and already doing sterling work as a STEM advocate.

# Our team at Liquid Telecom Botswana has provided free access to internet at the venue. We’re also kitting out the hub with computers to be used for the training.

# The training will cover various programming languages as well as business skills as we seek to build not only tech skills but business acumen.

# Our Muzinda Hub alumni will serve as virtual mentors and tutors to these students as they take on this exciting journey. Since we launched Muzinda Hub in 2014, alumni have earned US$120m+ in income from digital jobs as freelancers building apps and websites for local and international clients. All our alumni were previously unemployed school and university graduates.

# Within six months we expect the Muzinda Hub Botswana students to be software developers who will be able to create apps and websites and work as freelancers or get employed full or part time. (Coding is the most sought after skill globally with an unemployment rate of 4%). On average our alumni earn $1500 per month a freelancers. Based on stats from our alumni database, we expect 70% of these students to become freelancers earning on average a combined income of $6.3 million per annum using their new skills.

# We also expect 10% of these graduates to pursue the formation of their own tech startups whilst on the program. Through this program these startups will be incubated to the point of having a working prototype and a fundable business case! These 10% can slot naturally into the incubation program currently at the Innovation Hub in Botswana as well as other international accelerators. (#Senior Class: Please tell the others on the platform what an #Accelerator is… Important to know!)

That is not all!!

2. Fibre optic training program. First cohort of 100 students selected. Training launches today, 29 July!

I promised during the Gaborone town hall we would train fibre optic installers. The main purpose of the training is for the young people to be empowered with skills to form their own companies to commission fibre installations and projects as Afripreneurs!

The five-day training will take place over a period of four weeks and includes: 1) introduction to fibre optic; 2) underground cable installation; 3) overhead cable installation; 4) splicing and testing fibre optic; and 5) soft skills, such as how to use the Technites mobile app to get fibre installation jobs, health and safety, and customer care. Trainings will be led by two of our professionals from Liquid Telecom and one from Technites Africa.

My plan is also to ask the government to allow us to place at least 10% students from other African countries at our centers in Zimbabwe, Kenya and now Botswana.

My appreciation for the team at Muzinda Hub and also at Liquid Kenya and Liquid Botswana for undertaking these program with our local partners. You guys set aside precious work time to ensure our promises were met.

To be continued. . .

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

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.

13 Replies to “Skills of the future (Part 5)”

  1. Afterthought 2.

    “With over 60 percent of our nearly 1.3bn strong population under the age of 25, we have the fastest growing and youngest population in the world, and they are tired of watching the rest of the world develop from the sidelines…

    They don’t want to be handed the crumbs that fall from the tables of developed economies; they want to be in the kitchen cooking the meal and at the table enjoying it…”

  2. Afterthought 4.

    Botswana is a country that produces some of Africa’s strongest women leaders. It does not surprise me that our partner is a woman entrepreneur (who runs Muzinda Hub Botswana as a sustainability franchise with the support of Muzinda Head Office in South Africa) and also that 60% of the students are women!

  3. Afterthought 5.
    Muzinda Hub Botswana will become an accelerator for techpreneurs.I have also directed our team to set up our second 21CSkills Center in Botswana which will be similar to the one we have in Kenya.I’m excited that these students will also be part of our Microsoft partnership for certification of their skills.

  4. Thabo Siwawa writes,

    Am jealous sir. What about South Africa. When are we expecting this, l also want to be part of this program. Am definitely sure l will be that 10% who will form tech companies. Please sir do something as well here in South Africa.

    My reply,
    You are “jealous” in a good way!
    To be honest with you, SA is the most advanced country when it comes to digital skills training. There are numerous projects similar to Muzinda Hub. Just go on the Internet and research for them.
    Having said that, no African country is doing enough. And if we don’t raise our game, we will end up with billions of unemployable young people!
    Governments must first and foremost pivot education to STEM.
    As a continent Africa has the lowest % of school leavers who pass Maths. You cannot obtain Digital Skills like Coding without at least High School level Maths.
    Personally I would like African governments like South Africa, to take the Muzinda Hub concept and implant it into every College and University. It is not all that difficult.
    21C Skills is an Online platform which means that governments can adopt it and pay for certification of students who pass the Microsoft program for instance.
    As a private philanthropist mine is not to replace the role of governments, but to catalyze by example. That is why I do it!

    My hope in Botswana for instance is that the government will study the model of what we have built there, as well as the one in Zimbabwe [Togo for instance sent a minister to see it, and is now planning its own]:
    Botswana can adopt this model and roll it out in its High Schools and Colleges. Within 5 years they will have the most digitally adept generation. I don’t charge anything for this. It’s just a platform.
    Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria. Any country can do it. They don’t even need to copy our model:
    #”Yo! African Minister of ICT: JUST DO IT!”

  5. #Reflection:

    I had a dream the other day. I guess it was a vision:

    I looked and I saw Muzinda Hubs being set up by churches, and other places of worship:
    Computers were set up in halls, and young people were learning to Code, and develop digital skills during the week! Then on the day of worship they packed away the computers. And so it continued.

    And I thought to myself, what a wonderful way to teach practical skills!
    What is to stop your church, school, or college investing in a Muzinda Hub?
    Actually nothing!
    You buy computers. We send you a trainer, and after six months you are up and running. You just pay for the trainers.

    Just think of the young woman from Botswana. She listened to me speak at that TownHall. She acted quickly, with steel and determination. Not asking unnecessary questions, because she knew she had to be first!
    Who will follow her?
    Coming to think of it; has this vision not been fulfilled?!
    You know!

    God bless you!

  6. #Pause:
    Not everyone has been given the capacity to “think properly”.

    More than 15 years ago, our company decided to promote our brand by sponsoring national soccer teams in the countries where we operated at the time, which was Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Botswana. We signed agreements in each country, and began to advertise with the teams. Our agreement in Zimbabwe was cancelled abruptly, and without explanation on a directive from the Minister. When our people enquired as to why, they were told quietly that there was concern that it might make “Masiyiwa popular amongst the people, and he can easily run for President”.
    Just think about it?
    By this “twisted logic” I had set my sights to be President of three countries, presumably at the same time!

    We were also doing it in Nigeria and Botswana. Our people showed them pictures of Nigerian stars like Nwakwo Kanu with our brand. It did not matter to those guys!

    In your life, you will come across the type of people that Nelson Mandela once described as “not having the capacity to think properly”.
    They start with a twisted conclusion, almost always driven by either fear, insecurity about their own positions, a lack of self esteem, or just jealousy and hatred, and no amount of reasoning will make them see logic. The more evidence you give them, the more it feeds their twisted logic. It is because they “have no capacity to think properly”.
    Ignore them. Don’t engage them. Keep on walking towards your chosen goal.

    I have people like this who have attacked me for over 30 years. “It’s par for the course” as they say in golf.

    Why there were people who even attacked me for going to Botswana. What did I care?
    I still set up Muzinda Hub Botswana and 500 young people are proof of my sincerity. That is all that matters, because:


    Let’s go [young] Africa the future is bright, and it is YOURS!

  7. Culture Zungunde writes,

    #NothingTurnsOnIt! I need to have a key partnership with you Dr.Masiyiwa.I have a brilliant agripreneurship idea that will change the course of agriculture in Afrika!

    My reply,

    You don’t need me. If you think you need me, then you are not ready.
    Mark Zuckerberg did not go to Bill Gates for Facebook.
    He just did it!

  8. Michelle de Bourbon writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa, thank you for blessing Africa with a dream & actions for the future. Much love to you and your family from the de Bourbons xxx

    My reply,
    Oh wow!
    You made my day, my week, my month!
    How are you, and your family?
    My Assistant will reach out to you offline!

    Ps. Advocate Adrain De Bourbon was lead counsel in my long fight in the Zimbabwe courts. He was the senior guy for our entire legal team.
    He never gave up on me. He and his family became close friends of mine when I lived in Harare. This is an amazing Zimbabwean family.

  9. #Keeping my mind busy!

    Here is something I have been studying:

    4 – 5 cows produce enough methane gas for 1 kW

    so 50 cows produce 5 kW

    100 cows produce 10 kW

    1000 cows produce 100 kW

    10000 cows produce a 1 MW

    How much power is that?

    You can provide power to an entire town with 1MW!


    Here is the link to the NTV [Kenya] clip I saw on the Flexi Gas system, there are several others that are longer and more detailed and also show his newer versions.

    [I watched this whilst waiting for a flight the other day. Really inspiring.]

    I’m totally intrigued by this concept!

    Agric Entreprenuers can provide our power?

    Imagine if a young entrepreneur developed a system to collect cow dung every week, dry it, and use it to power biogas generators instead of grinding mills!
    Yes, every village could have its own biogas generator for electricity and cooking gas!
    We do not even have to reinvent the wheel, just go on the Internet and study what is happening in China and India!

  10. Strive Masiyiwa

    Let me once again present to you sir a young entrepreneur Jerry Mallo his expertise in machine fabrication can transform a continent. I mentioned him before. He already has interns but he needs to be encouraged.

    He already made the list of the 10 plus myself persons meeting you in Ghana on AGRF invitation.

    My reply,
    When we are in Accra we might be able to link him up with our partners at Trotro!
    He is a candidate to also with Vaya Tractor which we developed with the guys at Trotro, because we want to add Vaya Farming Machinery.

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