Human Development

Will Strive Masiyiwa’s exploits serve as the backbone of Africa’s emerging technological revolution?

4 min read

I have written about Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa’s contribution to alleviating poverty in Africa through their Higherlife Foundation but have never dedicated time to expose their business exploits and how they are contributing to Africa’s human capital and economic development.

“These filthy rich people are selfish, they will not do anything unless they benefit”. These are some of the sayings that our elders would say and they have shaped most of our money blueprints. A lot of people have a bad relationship with money as a result of the social conditioning by those in their sphere of influence.

Thanks to technology, now we can learn from the great revolutionaries and experts from all corners of the globe. As acclaimed economist, Jeremy Rifkin puts it, ” we are now living in a near-zero marginal cost society, where it costs almost nothing to produce and consume information and goods”. One billionaire who has taken Jeremy Rifkin message and is living it is Strive Masiyiwa.

Strive has had an immense impact on the business and entrepreneurship knowledge commons. Through his social media pages, he has taught many an inspiring entrepreneur across the globe using storytelling and tips on how to succeed. At no cost, young African movers and shakers have been empowered and inspired to tackle some of the continent’s biggest challenges.

He could have simply put all this knowledge behind some paywall but he chose to be inclusive and freely shared his insights. This is something that everyone ought to emulate and improve on. He is not the only person who is doing a lot with regards to young African empowerment but he is a standout star.

As I was scrolling on my Instagram timeline earlier today, I came across an interesting post by Strive. This post inspired me to write this article because it made me realise how much Strive is contributing to human capital and economic development through his business sojourn. Knowingly or unknowingly, he has impacted so many lives through provision of digital services, especially the ones that are bringing people who had no access at all into the 4th Industrial Revolution.

I was in Ndjamena, Chad last week for the 1st APRM Youth Symposium  and I noticed the potential in the country but they did not have much infrastructure and not enough economic activity was happening that would bring the people out of poverty. It is not everyday that in my world I meet someone who is doing business in Ndjamena, so when I saw Strive’s post and how he is pushing for a fibre line that will service Ndjamena and surrounding cities, I got excited.

The post for me was a loud call for all African entrepreneurs to take on the biggest challenges that we face and tackle them. We have to set audacious goals, even those that defy logic. I hope you will also be inspired.

Below is Strive’s Instagram post, I have preserved it as I found it on

#BREAKING NEWS! Why I’m in Angola, DRC and Rwanda this week!

Last year Liquid Telecom finally completed the fibre optic link between Cape Town and Cairo. This was a really big deal. We have also been working on a cable linking: Dar Es Salaam-Kigali-Lumbumbashi-Luanda-Port-Moanda Port (DRC, Atlantic Ocean). This route has been every bit as difficult & audacious as Cape-to-Cairo which we historically completed already!  The link between Lubumbashi & Kinshasa was considered technically impossible by many experts. I hope to be back in Kinshasa this year to commission it, so help me God!

The build out is progressing very well & we are now at Inga Dam. It could be fully “lit” by January next year. We’re also building Cape Town to Luanda through Zambia. Currently, we’re at a place called Solwezi in Zambia. Check your map! This link also connects to Dar.  These parallel routes create a network of resilience for digital infrastructure. I’ve been briefing African heads of state in the region on the progress. I’m grateful to the increasing number of African leaders who have caught the vision of this, & have given me unflinching support over the years. (It’s a parallel East-to-West route. The other route runs from Port Sudan-N’Djamena-Port Kilibe-Yaunde-Abuja. This particular route will continue to Dakar, through every country in the region). Without a digital backbone of Fibre Networks, & Data Centres, it will be difficult to unlock the promise of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Africa. We also need this as part of the network infrastructure (including 5G) to enable the computer speeds that AI software will operate.

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