….. How important is it for you to create jobs?
Many years ago, I was given a very interesting proposal, whilst visiting a certain wealthy country:
“Would you consider moving permanently to our country?”
The man asking the question was a very senior government official, in that country.
“If you move to our country, we will give you residence, a passport, and fast track to citizenship. We will even consider funding to support some of your ventures, that you do here.”
I could hardly believe my ears; someone was actually trying to recruit me, to change my citizenship!
“Why?”, I asked surprised.
“You are a proven ‘job creator’. We need people like you, to come and create jobs… Entrepreneurs create jobs, and you are good at what you do. We have done our research on you.
….There is nothing more important for us than creating jobs for our young people.”
I smiled. Thanked him politely, before declining the generous offer.I nevertheless proceeded to lead a venture that created jobs for his country.
Businesses and ventures that I have started or been involved with, over the last 29 years, as a business person, have created more than 100,000 jobs, directly and indirectly.
“Entrepreneurs create jobs”.
… There is nothing more important than creating jobs for our young people. I cannot imagine anything more important at the moment, and more urgent, particularly in Africa… Our very future depends on it!
Speaking recently, at an event in New York, I said:
“With 60% of our population under the age of 30 years old; creating skilled jobs for our young people, is the greatest challenge facing Africa.. Period.”
The most sustainable way to create jobs is to create policies that encourage entrepreneurship, and through it investment.
We have to value our entrepreneurs, as real partners of development. We cannot choose to treat them as criminals. We must acknowledge their contributions, and celebrate them.
Some of the most successful countries in the world, actually have active programs to recruit entrepreneurs from other countries. Such is the recognition they give to people who create jobs.
Even if you employ just one person; even if that person is your daughter or nephew:
You are an employment creator, and a very important person to your country.
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