“Call It What You May, It’s Corruption,” Strive Masiyiwa
8 October 2019
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Strive Masiyiwa
Strive Masiyiwa

Paul Nyathi|Zimbabwean businessman and philanthropist,  Strive Masiyiwa says Africa needs to address the reality of corruption in order to progress. 

Masiyiwa was delivering the annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture in Cape Town on Monday, the same day that the Emeritus Archbishop celebrated his 88th birthday. 

Masiyiwa says corruption affects everyone, not just Africans, and is the “elephant in the room” that needs to be addressed. 

“Corruption is no laughing matter,” says Masiyiwa. “Nations are destroyed by corruption,. and yet we talk about it. We talk about almost in a cynical way I guess. Come elections, up comes the topic of corruption, and then it does away.”

According to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Masiyiwa created a massive global telecommunications, media and technology network, Econet, to bring benefits of the 4th industrial revolution home to the African continent.

He also manages an extraordinary Facebook account that aims to inspire and mentor the next generation of young African entrepreneurs and leaders, with more than 3.6 million followers.

He serves on international boards including Unilever, the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, and Stanford University, and is the only private sector representative on the SMART Africa Board driving continental digital transformation. In 2019, he held the sixth position on Forbes’ list of Black Billionaires.

The foundation says the lecture was conceived as “an annual opportunity to take stock of issues critical to the sustainability of our species and our planet.” 

On Monday, Masiyiwa said about corruption: “Everything we fought for, everything we hoped for is on the line. 

“State Capture – call it what you may, it’s corruption.”

Masiyiwa said his hope is that the next generation could beat the scourge of corruption, chi his why he spent a lot go time mentoring young people. 

“I seek to teach them not only the craft of the entrepreneur, but I try to share with them some fo the things that I’ve experienced; to encourage them that it is possible here in Africa to runa successful business, to do successful things in business, without corruption.”