Today I want to share with you about something very special and important that is coming up early next month. One of the founding members and past chair of “The Elders”, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has asked me to address the 9th Annual International Peace lecture to be held on 7 October (which also happens to be his birthday). The topic he’s asked me to speak about is this: “Tackling corruption in the public and private sectors: Restoring citizen trust locally and globally”.
I am very honoured to be invited and am starting to prepare my Lecture notes now. I hope if you are in Cape Town that evening, you might still be able to attend. The link to get the free tickets is here: Quicket.
I believe that each of us as citizens is responsible for doing something positive to shape our society, right where we are. This includes, of course, saying no to corruption.
Did you know that according to the African Union, more than US $148bn is drained out of Africa every year, because of corruption? Imagine what jobs could be created and infrastructure built with that amount of money… But corruption comes in many forms. When a traffic cop stops and asks you for a “cool drink” for the fine to “go away” because you were speeding or talking on your phone whilst driving, for example, that is corruption, too. Pay the fine as is legally required! And slow down and don’t text or drink while driving! #JustSayNo to any form of corruption.
Now as we think of important roles we can each play to build Africa’s century: #Afripreneurs, techpreneurs, #SeniorClass this is where you come in:
What is in your hand? What can YOU do to tackle corruption? What about others in your communities?
On Friday in Addis Ababa, for example, there will be another exciting pitch contest, this time to win the “Inclusive Innovation Challenge”, sponsored by one of our companies, Liquid Telecom. In this competition, techpreneurs will showcase some amazing digital innovations. Four ventures will be chosen to go to MIT in the USA in November to compete against the world in MIT’s premier Future of Work prize. You can find out more here: MIT Inclusive Innovation.
Now the digital solutions being pitched in Addis this week don’t focus on stopping corruption, but maybe next year some of them might? We all know that the future of work, the prosperity of our nations and families and children in particular, is deeply impacted by corruption, not just in Africa, but the whole world. I’ve already told you about one new innovation we’re introducing to identify counterfeit products. There is so much new that technology can do.
How can Africa lead the way with solutions?
Maybe there can even be a competition for techpreneurs to develop apps to help stop the scourge of corruption? What do you think?
Just look at the amazing businesses founded by the young agripreneurs who competed at the AGRF a few weeks ago. We want to ensure their ventures and products can grow and attract investment in strong and stable economies! And all of your own businesses as well. So #Senior class, I need your ideas:
What solutions can entrepreneurs provide to tackle corruption, and also to restore citizen trust?
The author is Strive Masiyiwa, an entrepreneur and chairman Econet Group. Strive Masiyiwa shares his posts to inspire and mentors the African youth to ownership and charge to drive change in Africa. Follow Strive Masiyiwa for more information on Facebook by liking his page. Image credit: Ubuntu Hope.