__Serious business, and some serious fun, too!
In the past few weeks I’ve told you about Muzinda Hub, the coding school we first launched in Zimbabwe in 2014. Today I want to tell you about “21CSkills”, a cutting edge initiative of Liquid Telecom built in partnership with Microsoft. 21CSkills (21st Century Skills) is a free online learning platform for African students, start-ups and developers specially designed to offer training and certifications in skills of the future like data science, Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, game development (coming soon) and much more…
I want some of you especially in the #SeniorClassto take a few of these courses and come back at the end of this year and tell me what you think, what you learned, and how these new skills helped you grow and #ReImagine your businesses! You can find out more here: https://21cskills.africa/
Now some of you may wonder how such amazing online training has become available in recent years. The short answer is: high-speed Internet connectivity.
Never before in history have people of all ages across Africa and the world been able to study and acquire cutting edge skills of the future from world class educators, without having to fly to distant lands. Young people like some of you may not realize how truly amazing this is!
__What is that in your hand? I have said it so many times and I will say it again: If you use it wisely, it can take you, your education and your business places like never before. Please don’t waste its power. Some of us have worked very hard over the years to make it possible…
I have told you on this platform since 2013 about my dream to create a Cape to Cairo by fibre network, and most of you know it completed late last year. That was amazing but building Africa’s digital future is an ongoing #process. Our Liquid Telecom teams are still busy connecting (countries, businesses and people) across the continent, as I write today!
Beyond Cape to Cairo, our “One Africa” broadband network now links many countries in east, central and southern Africa through 70,000km of fibre. The westward journey is also underway (you saw me in DRC and Angola a few weeks ago), with the cable being extended across Central Africa.
__When that link is completed, we will have built the first terrestrial network linking together all four corners of the continent!
This is what I mean by building Africa’s century and if you acquire the 21CSkills you need, it’s great news for visionary entrepreneurs like you who want to use the Internet to build and scale your own businesses across the continent and the world. The rest is up to you. We’ve done our part.
#SeniorClass: here’s something for you. Check out two cool competitions and tell me what you think. One is called “Data Hack for Financial Inclusion” (DataHack4FI) and the other is Zindi Africa. Both are initiatives supported by Liquid Telecom/21CSkills partnerships and focus on inspiring savvy young people like you to use the power of data to find answers and solve problems in ways never #imagined before.
Prepare to compete if you dare!
Liquid Telecom also has a great new partnership now with University of Johannesburg to launch a research and technology center focused on digital innovation that will offer 4IR courses like the ones I mentioned above. They will also award bursaries to support promising young students at UJ to learn the skills of the future there. There are a lot of great things happening and I’m really proud of the young teams in our Group who are putting all this together.
As I told a few of you here earlier, I ran into my dear friend Makhtar Diop of the World Bank a few weeks ago at a wedding in Rwanda. We had a cup of coffee and started chatting about, you guessed it… Artificial Intelligence. His parting words to me were:
“My brother, this is very, very serious. Do everything you can to get the brothers and sisters on the continent to get their minds around AI!”
You can see we ARE taking this very very seriously! What about you?
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