The words below are some of the most inspiring words I have read all week. The author is Zimbabwean entrepreneur Dr Strive Masiyiwa, the Founder and CEO of The Econet Wireless Group. The Econet Wireless Group is a global telecommunications group with operations, investments and offices in more than 15 different countries (in Africa, Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific). Over the last couple of months Dr Strive Masiyiwa has been sharing the story of how he came to be where is today over a series of Facebook posts. This has steadily become of my favourite things on my Facebook timeline. In his post he shares both spiritual and business advice to his followers and the post below is one of his latest post. After reading this I felt compelled to share to share this with readers of this blog who might not be on Facebook or who might not be following Dr Strive Masiyiwa.
IT’S TIME TO VISIT AFRICA by Dr Strive Masiyiwa
Years ago, when I first visited Washington DC, I was amazed to see that the vast majority of the tourists wondering around the city, with such excitement, were actually Americans from other cities and states within America. It really made me to yearn to see the same in Africa.
I would love to see a day, and I know it will come, when Africa’s tourism is driven by Africans from other African countries. This is not to say, I do not want to see tourists from other parts of the world; I do, because tourism is great for any economy.
Africans need to travel, in Africa.
The Ghanian writer Kofi Opoku, says:
“Do not say that your mother’s stew is the best in the world, if you have never left your village”.
We need to see more and more Africans, of all ages, traveling in Africa, as tourists. I would like to see more exchange programs between African countries for students, at all levels.
Someone once asked me, if I would like to see a certain movie, and I said yes, but when he asked me to go to the cinema with him, I replied by saying, ” it is worth seeing, but not worth paying to see!” For many of us, visiting other parts of Africa, is something we do as part of our work, but to plan a voluntary visit to an African country using one’s own money? Well that is something that Europeans, Americans, and now increasingly Chinese and others do, because they have money… Right? Wrong!!!
………….I have met taxi drivers in London who visit Africa on holiday!
Almost every day of the week, I meet investors and business associates who are keen to invest in Africa. They are either looking for partners who know Africa, or to hire professionals who also know Africa.
The truth of the matter is such people are not as many as one might think. It is a really small pool for a continent as large and diverse as ours.
As a young African, your success and prosperity over the next few years, will depend to a great extent on how well, you know other African countries, other than your own country.
Such knowledge does not come embedded in your brain, it comes only through reading about African countries, listening to news about Africa, and traveling in Africa.
Seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world today, are African. If you want to be part of this growing prosperity, now is the time to really determine in your heart to become a true expert of Africa. Even if you do not have money yet to visit African countries, there are many things you can do every day to improve your knowledge. One of them is to read news from other African countries on the Internet. Everyday, I read Online news from different African countries.
Its time to visit Africa.
The reason this resonated so much with me is because this is something that has been on my mind for a while now. I have long wanted get to know the continent better but I have always found one excuse and it hasn’t happened yet. So much for being a Pan Africanist. Reading this resuscitated that ambition for me again. Mostly because I have found more practical reasons to travel the continent than just tickling my fancy. One of my biggest qualms has been that flights between countries within Africa are prohibitively expensive as compared to flights say to Europe. It is more expensive to fly from Joburg to Mombasa than it is to fly from Joburg to Prague. (Even though I have never been to Prague) But in all honesty that is just an excuse because in all honesty I could probably take a bus to Mombasa if I wanted to. Yes, it would be a very long trip but I could never take the bus to Prague so… Even without looking as far afield as Mombasa they are places much closer to home than I can start with. For example my parents home is a 30 minute drive from the Mozambican border. Despite this I have never ever been to Mozambique. Ever. Maybe that is where I need to start my African safari.