Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet
Strive. Must see you ah I want. To first start off by saying that you, have easily, been, one of the most instrumental, leaders, in shaping my journey and you've. Even been responsible, for my journey here to Stanford Business School so. It's truly, an honor to be here today and I, think I speak for many of the people here in this audience that, it's truly an honor. So. I'd like to start with one. Of the most compelling, pieces of advice I've, heard from any business, leader you've. Mentioned that the three most important, skills in business are. To read count, and sell, take. Us back to the early days of your career and how you cultivated. These skills and use them to become, a successful, entrepreneur. Well. First of all it's it's a it's indeed a great privilege. And honor to be here, thank you, for inviting me in, particular our, my. Colleague, and dear friend, the chairman of Stanford, Jeff. Raikes thank, you Jeff, Jeff. And, I work on the. Alliance for a green revolution in. Africa and. He. Invited, us. Here to hold our board. Meeting, here so I've got a number of my colleagues. From the board and. Judith. Rodin I see they're Josette, and Lina. Thank. You so much for joining us this today. Well. You. Gonna be able to read you gotta be able to count and. You gotta be able to sell in. Reality, that's what we as entrepreneurs do. When. I was a little boy my. Mother. She. Came up with this idea that. I. Should earn, my own pocket money. So. She, bought me a box of chewing gum and I. Started selling them to my school, in. My school. But. I got lost, on, the, way back home because i reconned read that well cuz, that's only little. So I quickly, learned that you gotta be able to sell I could. Count but I couldn't read before. That's, probably why I did maths and engineering. So. Let's. Talk a little bit more about, entrepreneurship. It's. Easy for a lot of us to think of entrepreneurship, from, a more current context, it's. Such a hot topic and, respected, career path here. With, thousands, of tech startups emerging, each year but. Let's go back to Zimbabwe. In the early 90s, when, you first had the vision for econet what, gave you the courage to take on such a daring, and uncommon, career, path well. By, the by the time I decided, to set up Econet, in. 1993. I had. Been in business for about six or seven years so. I had a well-established. Business. Because I started in 1986. So. It's actually 25. And. The. So. I, had built up a fairly, successful. Construction. Business. I. Mean. I'm an engineer, and in, telecommunications. So, the. Whole mobile, revolution. Was. Something I had been tracking since school actually, you, know when I was at university, we. Already knew, what was going on like most engineers do. It at, school you know you if. You want to know what's going on in artificial intelligence talk to the guys at Stanford, they'll tell you what's gonna happen in ten years so we knew, this. Is this, was gonna happen and it's going to be big but. 1993. Was particularly. Important, in in my tracking, because. That's when they were introducing, the digital, standard, which. We call GSM, and. I. Immediately. Knew this is the time to get in. And. I thought it was gonna be a fairly simple thing you know you I. Went. To my former. Employers, and. I said hey guys this, thing's, gonna happen, I'd. Like to do a joint venture with you and. I she used to have a letter I think, someone. From the intelligence stole, it but. I just have a letter which used to be on my wall written, by the head of the telephone company, back to me to.
Say You know this is a fad. It's. Going, to disappear, we have more important, things to do here so. Don't bother us so, I went back and I said okay since you, don't want to be bothered, let. Me do it, they. Said no you can't do that because then you would violate our monopoly I said. So how can you have a monopoly in something you don't do. So. I, did, the smartest, thing which was hire, a lawyer right I went to a lawyer I said. You know, do. They really have a monopoly. He. Says, no. They don't. But. If. You really want to take them on there's. Easier thing to do just. Steal. A tank and. Go. Pocket before in front of the president's, office that's it much quicker because. Because. That's how he's gonna react I think somebody did it to him about three weeks ago. So. Anyway. I took them to court and. I. Hired. A, lawyer from, New York. And. An amazing. American. Lawyer called Judith O'Neil and, she. Was a specialist. In telecommunications. Law but, she couldn't practice in. Our, jurisdiction, and. She. Read the law and she said to me you know. You've. Got a point. I'll, help you with this so she actually used, to come. To her RA and advise. My, legal. Team on, on. The, on this battle and it took us five years, Wow. So, at the time. You. Are trying to. Bring. In a service, when. 75%, of Africans, had not heard a telephone, ringing, so. You were trying to solve a problem that Africans. Did not yet, know they had, how. Did you gain the boldness and the conviction, to, take on such, a problem, at the time you. Know when I worked as a telephone engineer. You. Know imagine, we used to take out adverts. The government. Used a saying. To people you talk too much on the phone. Dad. Used to say don't, jabber jabber so much. To. The customers. I, mean. Together. When, you work for the telephone. Company in any African. Country. One. Of the great. You. Know whenever you walk down the street people, would come up to you and say you know can you help me get a telephone line it, was just it, was a badge of honor and a lot of my friends made money out of it was called corruption. Yeah. But. It. Was it could take, officially. 14. Years to get a telephone in. Most. African, countries our. Teledensity, was, point zero seven percent. So. It was literally, impossible for. Anyone to have a telephone, line and. And. When we went to the Constitutional. Court. We. Took this thing through the lower courts, and, of course be. Honest by the time we got the constitutional, court, I was, public enemy number one I mean. It, wasn't funny I used to get arrested. So. But. When. We finally get to the Constitutional Court we, had to get evidence. For. Our court, to even consider, it's not very different from your own Supreme. Court and, we. Would we were to face a nine-member, bench. The matter had was no longer, about the monopoly, it. We. Had taken it as a natural freedom, of expression, and. So. We said look. 75, percent of the people of this country have never heard a telephone, ringing. That. Was the headline of and. That, captured. Headlines, across the entire African continent. Seventy-five. Percent of our people have, never heard a telephone, ringing, and. And. People were calling in so where did you get this statistic, from and.
I Showed them where, we got it we, had to gather this research, which. Is very important, as an entrepreneur, you've got to get your data. So. The. You. Know the quote pull down the monopoly. And. For me it was really we, were just trying to, respond. To a need. The. The, revolution for, me in telecommunications. In Africa. When. We look back now that is just, over 20 years ago. 75, percent of the African people have. A telephone now. Not. Just ring, but their own one because. Our teledensity, now, is 75, percent. Continentally. Some. Countries, like Botswana, well you know their hundred and twenty percent one hundred and thirty percent I don't know how they do that's that. In. Nigeria, I know how they do it because it's the robes you see so they have one phone here. But. It's. It's. It's a remarkable. Revolution, for for our industry. It. Seems like every step of the way building, trustworthy, partnerships. Were fundamental. To your success, whether. It was gaining, the trust of, agents, who enable mobile money to work or, the trust of the hundreds of young people who first spread the message of eco nuts during, the early days how. Did you get people to trust you you. Know, I think, the key is. By. Not being transactional. In relationships. And in it goes broader, than, just, your. Relationship, with customers. Getting. People to accept, mobile. Money rather, than mobile phones. What's. The most counterintuitive. Thing, we ever had to do. Because. You're talking to people who, who, don't have money where, very little money and. They. Also. Had. No bank accounts. So. We had to persuade, them that, they. Could give us their, money in, the. Case of Zimbabwe, they had faced. 500,000. Percent, hyperinflation. They. Knew if you put money in the bank the next day you didn't have it, and. We. Had a launch mobile. Money during, that time, so. I used to say to my people I said when, we're discussing how, do you, take mobile. Money across, how. Do we get people to accept it it's. Just like trying to get people to drink how. Did they do that coca-cola a black. Drink. In. A bottle. But. They did it right to build this incredible company. Coca-cola, I mean, that must have been the most difficult thing to get, somebody to that, black stuff you drink. Well. We, got people to open bank accounts millions. Of them and. One. Of the ways we used to do it, which. You familiar, many of you with what, we call my tattoos right in Africa, the little, comm bees, so. We went to the universities, and we hired, the. University students. And. We wanted them to ride on my tattoos. So. They ride two by two in, my tattoos, but. You know how noisy, and lively. African, buses are right we, talk to each other, so. Get. Onto the bus and you start they're, supposed, to strike a conversation. About. Mobile. Money, I'm sending, money to my cousin, on, the other side of town the whole bus stops. And. They, talk they, get off the next bus stop they get onto the next one and they, had to do this and we had a calculation. That said we, needed them to talk. To one and a half million people. To. Get to our tipping, point, there's. No marketing, that was it those. Guys on, the, buses, talking.
And Getting lost the next one and people did realize the same guys. Coming. On the bus and having an argument, about. And. And we also said street. A comedy. Where. They, will someone, who say you stolen, my money, and. They start a mock, fight in the middle of a Township and. People, will always gather and there's a fight right. So. They. Then explain, that actually you can't steal my money because it's in my phone. And. And. I've got people to go out and register, and so. These. Are just techniques. That are people, work on. Amazing. Here. At the Stanford, Business School we. We, celebrate, failure we. Even go as far as to say it's necessary, for growth and, success and, to. Look at a leader such as yourself, it, can be extremely tempting, to view you as absent. Of failure. Given. That entrepreneurship. One, of the hardest parts is managing, your own psychology, can. You talk to us about how you've navigated failure. And self-doubt. Well. I wouldn't stand say I've ever celebrated. Failure. I've. Run into it now and again, say. That ok. Probably. The most spectacular was. My, entry into Nigeria. Now. That was pretty. Spectacular, you, know we went, in. Just. After the end of military, rule in Nigeria, this would be I guess. 99. 2000. And. Because. One. In five black, people, in the world is a Nigerian, this. Is some market, and. We, were trying to get in and, we went in and of course. We. Had to build a consortium, and, Nigeria, was particularly. Difficult. Today. You've. Got billions of dollars going into Nigeria, but. If you look back in 2000. 2001. There's. No mobile industry in Niger. And. No. One was putting money into Nigeria. I. Remember. Going around the banks in South Africa, and investors, and the city you mad you, want to go to Nigeria, so. We have to be in Niger if, you're, gonna be in business in Africa, you have to be in Nigeria, period. So. We went in and we. Built a consortium, of. Nigerian. High-net-worth. Businesses. And business, leaders and so to. Bid, for a license, and the government, had. Set up an auction system, and. They. Became the most expensive even. To this day licenses, ever issued, in. Sub-sahara. South. Of us are you, know in Tunisia something, paid more for it but, we paid in 2001. Two. Hundred and eighty five million dollars, for a license. And. A. Year. Into, the business. One. Of my partner's walked, in and put a bill on the table for one of the state governors. And. Said you know you got to pay us each, four million dollars. Or. We throw you out of the country. So. I got, thrown out of the country and. And. Lost, you know pretty, much got kicked out of that investment. It. Took me ten. Years of international. Arbitration. To. To. Win back our, investment. That. We had lost and, along. The way I I. Had, that governor, jailed. Spent. 13, years in Britain British, prison after. Making a mistake of, going. To Dubai gore picked up by Interpol, I. Mean. It's, known fact that I he I. Was. Witness, against. Him for. Corruption so. You. Know there was bittersweet. Very, difficult, time for us. But. There were a lot of entrepreneurial. Lessons. And. After. Five years we. Went back into Nigeria. And the fastest-growing, parts, of our businesses, are in Nigeria, today so. We learnt a lot, that. Was really, really. Difficult. And there were no celebrations. Except. When I got the arbitral, award which is the biggest in African, history. So. There. Was a nice, end to it. You've. Been thought out by many leaders such as Barack, Obama.
But. Who do you look to for inspiration. Are, there any up-and-coming. Young leaders, on the continent, that inspire, you about the future of Africa. Absolutely. You. Know when I started, that, Facebook. Page. My. Daughter I didn't know that my daughter was at college in the US was, sharing. Things I was sending her with her friends so she started saying to me but you know my. Friends. Think. You should talk about this that's what friends. Said. Well you know we, share everything so, we. Should we, then got to start, working on this Facebook page and the. Most interesting, part for me is. Reading. The comments, I just. Get, absolutely. Inspired, by, the comments. Of young. Africans. From. Virtually. Every corner of the continent, who. Are running businesses, in. Extraordinary. Situations. That. Even I couldn't, have imagined, and they're making a success of it so. I really. Get inspired by, what. Our. Young entrepreneurs, are doing and. I. Am, in constant, conversations. With them on Facebook, I haven't. Know some of them you know I go, into meetings I say where's Austin and stuff, like this and they come. Because. They're doing amazing things and. But. Surely you got people like Giuliana Rotich. The. Young Kenyan, woman who. Built, a Shahidi. We. Got, Fred. Fred is Fred here too, fred's. Wanaka. The. African Leadership Academy many, of you know fred is an alumni, of. Stanford. I mean. These are the guys who, are, going to. Totally. Transform. Our. Continent, and the world to be honest. So. But. You know it's it's not so much and. It's a great privilege of course when. You. Can have a conversation with. People. I President Obama who I knew before he was president, and, I, always remind him that know I'm eight months older. It's. Just - we know this helps you to get a stability and then it's such. A great success. But. In, Africa Damaris, I'm senior brother. So. No. But. We are it really it's, it's people I work with. Over. The years people, like dr.. Judith Rodin she's, here she's, the former president, of the Rockefeller. Foundation. She's, been an amazing. Mentor to me, over. The last ten years particularly. An understanding, philanthropy. Because. Many of us as entrepreneurs, when we set out to go into philanthropy, we. We.
Actually Don't know how it works and you. Need to learn to be talking to people like. Dr.. Rodin to understand. So it's a lot of people. That I work with over, a very very long time that. I turn to. When. I face challenges. Shifting. To philanthropy. A bit in addition. To your success, as an entrepreneur, you've. Funded, the education. Of over 40,000. Children across, in Bob way and, Africa. How. Must it feel to, have come so far from humble beginnings and, what, has motivated you, to give back in such an extraordinary way. Well. Well. First, of all I'm really excited, this week because. We just got an announcement, that we. Got our the Rhodes of our program, this year. And. We got one last year and. We. I think that's our third or fourth now. So. And. It, began. Like. A lot of things I don't think we my, wife and I sat down and said you know. Let's. Give back because. To be honest with you we started, when we didn't have any money. So. There's almost nothing to give back if you if you think of it that way, there. Was a crisis. In Africa at the time which. Was hiv/aids. People. Were dying on. A scale. You. Cannot, imagine if. In, my small business I, was. Burying, members, of my. My, workforce, every week. You. Know we actually saw we're all gonna die that's. How, it felt living in Africa, in. 1990-91. Because. Of the HIV crisis, and, what. Made the crisis, so, difficult, were. These children, what. Would we do with the children I, knew. What happens, when, children don't, go to school. We. Had Liberia, to tell us about that child. Soldiers. All. Sorts, of challenges, you could rip apart a country, if these. Kids, did not go to school, so. For us it, was responding. To that and we came up with this model. Which. My wife then said she was gonna run full time it. Was basically, if. If. We, can find a relative, to the child rather. Than try to institutionalize. Any children, let's find their relatives, and, tell. Their relatives, we will meet the economic side, we'll, pay for school fees we'll, give you some food we'll, pay will help with clothing, and so, forth so, it began as a little, program, really, around our own employees. And we, probably had 50. When. My wife kind, of began to do it on a full-time basis. And. She'd. Come from work and she would just really. Just. Make. Sure these kids were looked after and. One day you know it just walked, in and said actually you, know you know they're 5000 that we now help and. We've extended beyond, the company, because, people keep bringing these kids to us. So. We built it from there and, as. Of this year twenty. Odd years into, it we've, assisted. 250,000. That. Went through our, system. Of education, we. Began to X wherever, we, went, the. First thing we told our management teams, if we went to Botswana, or Zambia, any country, you've, got to set up the program you've got to support it, so. We support, it across every single country, where we operate and, then. We. Select from, those kids, the. Really, high performers. What, what do you do if is 16. And you got a genius, on your hands you say go home, we. Just treat them like our own kids we. Help them apply for scholarships. To Stanford, and Harvard, and. Wherever, so, we have three hundred and fifty four in the United States this year of. Our kids and, we've. Got some in China some. In the UK, and, so forth them and. We help. Them along and, so. It's been a great. Program. To see. You've. Mentioned that. Entrepreneurship. Is, not just about making money but about being an agent for a change, there's. Many people here in this audience who, have large. Dreams of going into the world and being, catalyst, for a transformative, change, what. Do you think we should know and most importantly, today what, is your call to action, for us. First. Of all. Don't. Wait, until you've made your billion, okay. I know everyone. At Stanford, ends up making a billion once they're entrepreneurs. Right I mean that's why you come to Stanford right right so. Look. You you're, almost guaranteed to, be successful. So. Start, straightaway. Why. Do you have to wait as, you register your company register. Your foundation. Register. Your philanthropy and. It's. Actually, good for you in. Our, house, we. Actually never. Discuss, business. We. Discuss, the, things we're doing around philanthropy. It. You. Know with my kids and if I it's very difficult, with my kids because, they're. More interested, in the philanthropy, side then, maybe, they. During, holidays, they prefer go work for their mother. Very. Few volunteer. To go and sell in one of my shops. But. The. Reality. Is. These. Things, in. In today's, society we. Have to start, straightaway there's, no reason, for you to wait, you've. Got to find something, that you've. Got to find a cause.
If. You don't find a cause you'll. Find that making money is itself, a quite empty. You. Kind of get into your course now what is it you're interested, in is, it. The environment is, it the climate, change is it there, is something, that should capture, your interest. Every. Day. And for me I can't, wait at, the end of my day, to. Escape into. Discussing. The issues, of, philanthropy. That's, why I'm here we. Are here to discuss small, holder farmers in, Africa, so. We make it an integral, part of what you are doing, but. In. If. There's, an even more excellent way as they say, why. Not just do the philanthropy. And. Because. If if. That if you if you feel you can make a change, with that going off to run. A for-profit do it, that's. My council. Final. Question before we open it up to some of our business students here for questions, what. Do you think are some of the most pressing global problems. That we should be thinking about today. Wow. You. Know we always think don't. We that we. Would like to hand, our children. Fewer. Problems then, then. We handed, to us. You. Know our parents, kind. Of handed, over a. World with where, they said well we've achieved the. Soviet, Union is gone because. We live down to the Cold War and. Not. So sure weak handing, over a great world to you at the moment I'm sorry about that you. Got a few problems, that. You're gonna have to deal with because. Top. Of mind, for me is climate change. Because. It doesn't, give, us. Was. It we don't have a planet B somebody said we we don't get it another, shot at it if, we. Don't get into it now so. So. It's. It's up there. From. Enough from. The African, perspective, it's, jobs. One. Would argue it's global. But. For your generation. It's. Bigger than. Decolonization. Ever was as a. Challenge. We, have a continent. Where. The average age is 19. We, are 1.2, billion. By. Some estimates will, be 4 billion by the turn of this century in. The lives of most of you. If. We, don't create jobs, we. End up with Boko Haram and al-shabaab. It's. As simple as that and. They. Can sweep all the way down to the south. So. The security Nexus. Is. Linked. To the jobs. We. Have to create hope you. Know when I think of the people trying to cross, the. Mediterranean. Sometimes. You read reports, of five hundred drownings, a week in. The Mediterranean. We. Almost forget, that they had to cross the Sahara first. To. Get to the Mediterranean, and. Yet. We have a continent. With. So much resources. So. Much capacity. So. It's. An extraordinary, charge. For. Us where, we are still able to do something but an even greater challenge for. Our children, and, but. It's also global I think. The stability, of the world the future of the world will. To a great extent, be. Shaped by our response. To this, so. We have to pick up every tool, everything. That we can, to. Try and take on the some. Of these challenges, the rest where Stanford, you know them. Hazing. So now we'll take some questions from, the audience. I started. Thank you so much for being here really appreciate it I was. Just wondering. On. Either, a, personal. Or professional level. Sort of what, keeps you up at night so what do you wake up in the morning really concerned. About thinking, about. You. You, know I never, keep.
Up At night. President. Obama said, to me was what keeps you up at night I said nothing, I'm not running the world you are. Is. It ok suppose you. Woke. Up in the middle of night so ok jobs. How. Do we create employment. That. That really. Is. A challenge, to me how, do we get our young people, so I, am, persuaded, that the answer, lies in, part. With entrepreneurship. Ok. If I can't create somebody a job maybe. I can help them create their jobs. Inspire. Them to go out and do something. But. And I have an exciting, job to do which is. Does. Give. Me a lot of energy in the morning. We. Have a question right up here. Ok. Thank. You so much for, this opportunity I mean I've always dreamed, to come, very close to you. My. Name is Brian and I'm from Zimbabwe so, my question was I, understand. After you finish your your undergraduate, in Germany, or. Somewhere in Europe I'm no longer sure you. Went back to Zimbabwe, to work you, know in Africa and then start to build your ideas from the continent, what, advice would you give to someone who is graduating right, now or maybe, to this specific, graduating, in 2020. Do. You think is best for us if we dream of changing our continent, through entrepreneurship. To first start wakey, and gain some skills or to, go and work maybe in past details that we think would, want to change in the future. Yeah. Thank. You that's quite multifaceted. I. I. Think you, know there's no simple. Answer to this I wish I could say that but, what. I can say to you, the sooner you if you have an intention, to get home and work. There the. Sooner you go the better. It's. Actually very difficult if, you kind of. Spent. Five ten years you've, got a family you've got roots, and so forth that that's harder, to do I just, picked up my bag and I went home, okay. And. You. Know it was, it was easy I think, it would have been much harder if it. Had been ten years later. But. Having. Said that I. Know. A lot of friends who came after. They, had spent some time building. Up experience. And so forth and did very well but. I also go as far as to say that I'll never condemn, somebody who doesn't come. Okay. They. They. Are contributor, Africans, living and working in the Diaspora, are, contributing. As much, to, Africa, today as, anybody. Who's there and, I'm. Very proud of what they do. We. Can't, accommodate a lot of these guys even, if we wanted to so. But, they are sending money home they. Are keeping people in school the. The. Burden they carry. For. Such a small group of people is extraordinary. So. So. I in, in so, that's why I say there's no simple. Answer. I wish I could say there was. All. The, above will. Work out but I wouldn't send you to a country at war there. Might be an issue. I had. To leave Zimbabwe, 18 years ago haven't, been back even for one day, okay. So. You, know there, are always issues that. One. Needs to take into consideration. Hello. I strive, hi, my, name is tunde I'm from. Nigeria I figured, Tunde. They're, just some names you know Tunde, from Nigeria. Tendai, from Zimbabwe, I mean you you you never get a Tendai from kenya. Anyways. Thank. You for for, this opportunity. Kind. Of picking piggybacking. On your point I feel. But for about initiatives. Like what. Africans. In the Diaspora, can. Kind, of do to support development. Or goals in. In. Africa more. Sort of enterpreneurship, rather, than what, you mentioned in terms of like philanthropy, or supporting, folks back home so. Like investments. And stuff like that because. From. What you said not only do we have like people. Here we have like tremendous, talent the, work for tough companies, and stuff like that. And. There, is there's. A lot of conversation. Around this issue today, okay. How can we encourage. If. We, call it the Diaspora which means. We. Include people like LeBron, James by the way he's an African, in the Diaspora. In. Africa, we think of all black people around the world as part of the African Diaspora. But, you know Africa, is not just black people we have a wonderful. Diversity. On our continent, but. On the serious note there's a lot of conversation. Around. Encouraging. Those. Who are. Living. And working outside, Africa, to. Invest. In. Creating, businesses. And supporting. Entrepreneurship. Even, investing, through local.
Stock Exchanges. And. So for trying to mobilize. Capital. I'm a great supporter, of that but I haven't seen anything, that I could say to you this, is the perfect, solution. Thank. You I. Strive, my. Name is Ruth I'm from Ghana. I was. Wondering. As. A chairman. Of, Agri. What. Do you think is the future of smoulder, famine, in Africa and. In thinking about that how. Do you think we're gonna meet food. Security challenges. You. Should listen to the radio interview. That Jeff and I did this morning at 7 o'clock. Jeff. Raikes please, Jeff stand up. He's. The chairman, of your. Esteemed. University but. Has been a member of the agra board for many many years and helped set it up and, we. Spent, goodness, an hour and a half and. You. Really, got to listen to a Jeff had a say because I was just the backup you know I'm just I'm. A city boy I'm not a farmer. But. I've learnt a few things and amongst, them of course you. Know. 70%. Of our food production in Africa, is done by women. Small. Holder farmers and, they. Are aging. It's. A paradox, for us, we've. Got millions, of young people. Without. Jobs, but. They're not interested in agriculture, and. Rightly so it, it's. Not sustainable. What. We got to do is to, put in place a policy framework. That makes. Agriculture. Modernizes. The way we do agriculture. Looks. At agriculture. As an, industry. Sustains. The. Comes of. Smallholder. Farmers. Increases. Their incomes. And. And, this is what we are trying to do from the perspective, of Agri we. Are investing, and. Catalyzing. In. In, small businesses, we've created over, a, hundred, seed, companies, in Africa and these. Seed companies, now produce a third, of all, the certified, seed produced, in on the African continent. It's, phenomenal in ten years they. Produce enough seed to feed 15 million people every year, so. We're trying to help. 30, million smallholder. Households. Episode. The the smallholder farmer. Is the absolute. Bedrock, of, africa. If, we, there's, no. Nation. China, Europe. The United States that, ever got, going, without. Sorting. Out their agriculture. So. To. The extent that so, we got to, put. In place the right framework, from, a policy perspective and, that's what we work to try and encourage governments, to do, ensure. That there is sustained, domestic. Investment. Both from governments, from, entrepreneurs, and. Create. A stable, environment, for, farmers, markets. Ensuring. They get access to seeds, and, there's. A whole value. Chain around, it so, this that there's, a lot of space in agriculture. Hi. Mr. Matthew WA I'm. Elmer from Angola here. At the GSB we, thought. A lot about managerial. Practices that, were supposed to implement, to increase, the likelihood of success. But. Those are mostly promised, on the existence, of certain factors. Such as the enforceability, of the rule of law or. The existence, of a highly, qualified labor, market. People. That. Have succeeded, in developing economies in. Spite of those obstacles are, usually associated, with the. Ruling regime I think it's fair to say that you are not one those people but. You still succeeded, so how, did you do that and for, those of us that are still working on our, first billion, or million. Or thousands. How. Would you what, sort of advice would you do this. You. Know somebody asked Richard, Branson, how do I become a billionaire.
And He said I, start. Buying. It. Says how do I become a millionaire says, you know start with the billion and buy an airline. You. Can you can keep but, you can we I understand, where you want to go. You. Know. It's. It's it's it's it's, it's. One. Of my challenges, when I'm advising, young entrepreneurs. From, different African countries. Because. You know they're, different types, of governments, they're. Different situations. On the ground and. What. I how. Do i advise someone from Togo and, someone in South Africa. Zimbabwe. Zambia. You. Know because you I, can't, be so what I try to do is to pre-teach, principles. That. Will make you a success, as an entrepreneur. Irrespective. Of the conditions, and one, of my mantras is, to say the entrepreneur, must. Train like a soldier. We. Fight in the conditions, not the conditions. Because. We really, can't wake up in the morning say today it's raining I'm not fighting. So. So the challenges. Are there, but. The thing is Africa. Is full. Of, entrepreneurs. The. This. Entrepreneurship. Is alive, and well in Africa. It. Is just building, the support, systems. To ensure, that. These. Ventures. Can grow in scale. So. I hope that as some of you get skills from here, you. Can take them home to be able to help others to to, scale. All. Right my, name is Terry I'm from Rhonda, and I. Remember, this. May in transform, Africa you, talked about house there by the way you, talked about how. Data, is actually, to. Our generation is what internet, was to the 90s 80s generation, and. With. That I took that an advice but I tried to look into, that but the problem is part. Of it data. In Africa, is in the air it's not somewhere, you can't actually find data and. Even. When there is data it's so hard to break through the government censorship actually, to get that data so. How how, what do you think about how can you break through that and I also have an insight question about your program, I'm, part of another program in Rhonda called bridge Rhonda we come to the States I didn't go back but, the issue with the program right now is it's. So hard to convince us to go back I graduate, from Stanford having, an offer from Microsoft, and an offer to go back home, those. Two offers you can even weigh them how, do you convince your students to actually reject, the offer it's not problem of being patriotic it's an. Issue of weighing. The two the. Two offers and see which one is better how do you make it more attractive to, students, to come back in Africa I have, a better offer for you. Go. And start your own business. It's. Better offer than Microsoft. Or Intel. Or anybody. Once. You decide. To go down that route none, of those are, good offers. So. That's my challenge for you I. Have. A program. Which. Is fascinating, which. We. Take. Young. American, graduates, every year this. Year we had 30. We. Offer it or not to Africans, you can't have this one you young. Americans, and, we, send them to Africa for. Three to, six months and, they. Work for African, company. They. Don't work for governments. They don't work it's not Peace Corps you, gotta go and you gotta work for. Companies. Like mine, and. Guess what, they. Want to come home either. So. There's something going on there my friend you gotta come. Afternoon. My. Name is Daphne aha I'm from, Zimbabwe and, fortunately, I'm one of your entry young scholars I graduated from Spelman College this, this. Past May so. I, have, a background, in biochemistry. And I, am. Interested, in addressing, health problems. In developing, countries mostly particularly. In Diagnostics, because I feel like those. Diseases. Such as malaria. HIV. Tuberculosis have. Been neglected, mostly, and I'm interested, in someday owning my own biotechnology. Company in Zimbabwe, to address, matters in Zimbabwe, because, it's, very very important, for us to have such facilities, that allow us to arm to. Try. And solve our own problems using. Our own resources so. Why should you give what. Advice would you give a, young person like myself with, no background in business, but, interested, in making, such changes, to our continent. To the place that we come from. Wow. That's. Great. We. Have a program, with. Morehouse. College. So Andrew. Young came to me and said why, don't you have a program just for Morehouse, so. That's, okay so we, did a deal where it said we would send ten students, to Morehouse. But. I forgot. That was only meant. So. We ended up doing the, identical. Program. At. Spelman. And that's where. The andrian program, she talks about comes. So. It's always missing these amazing. Young people there and this is the future of Africa. Look. The. The. Most important, thing that you look, the challenges. For you are there. But. They are no different, from any, generation. Anywhere. Else in the world. Okay. To, the extent, that you can come home come.
Home And, we will help you and. We will get you started in. The business that you want to get into and. And. Really we. Want to say that about I mean, your. Country, Zimbabwe, which is also my country, has just gone through an. Extraordinary, change, that the whole world witnessed and. So. There's a lot of sense. Of hope. So. I'll see you there for Christmas next year. So. I know there's still tons of questions in the audience but, you'll, have to post it to his Facebook page. Because. We're out of time now but, I think that we all agree that it's been phenomenal and, let's. Give another round of applause.