Extract from a speech by Strive Masiyiwa
Every year I get approaches from big international companies who want to buy the whole of Econet from me. Some of these offers are usually very generous in their valuations. From a business principle, there is nothing wrong with such approaches. It happens all the time around the world.
There is only one reason I would never sell, and that is because we do not yet have enough high profile multinationals built by Africans, to which young Africans can look to and say to themselves, “yes we can.. We Africans are able to build enterprises which can operate in the global environment!” For the next stage of Africa’s unstoppable march to prosperity this is very important.
Can you imagine Japan without its own Toyotas, or America without Coca Cola? What makes you think Africans do not also want to look up and see large African enterprises? Companies like Econet are there as a beacon to a new generation of African enterprise builders who have dreams to build global companies that will also create wealth for their continent.
Over the next decade, African companies like us will mushroom all over the continent and become global champions; and they will not just be from South Africa, you will see them come from A to Z: Angola to Zimbabwe. There will be global multinationals, in my life time that will come from Malawi, Liberia, and Rwanda. And these companies will operate with the highest standards of ethics, even better than the best of the best today. Even as I am talking young Africans, are beginning to do it; they are thinking big, and without limitations.
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