Africa poised to become a global innovation hub: Strive Masiyiwa - CNBC Africa

Africa poised to become a global innovation hub: Strive Masiyiwa

Special Report

by Trust Matsilele 0

Econet Wireless Group's Strive Masiyiwa says Africa is poised to become a global innovation hub. PHOTOS: africaprogresspanel

Masiyiwa made the remarks in an exclusive interview with CNBC Africa.com.

“Africa will become the global innovation hub in the next 25 years partly because in about 25 to 50 years’ time half of the world’s population will be Africans with most expected to be young ,” he said.

Over the past few years great innovations globally have been spearheaded by young people with notable examples of Google and Facebook founders who started their innovation while studying.

Masiyiwa welcomed the Africa Union-led initiative to build a capital pool from regional business leaders to assist in the fight against Ebola.

(READ MORE: AU calls for private sector to join the fight against Ebola)

The AU is hosting the first ever AU-Private sector meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The event will see the launch of Business-to-Rescue Fund and among others set to attend the showpiece will be Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa, Shoreline Energy’s Kola Karim, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, Africa Rainbow Minerals’ Patrice Motsipe, MTN CEO Sifiso- Dabengwa and Standard Bank’s Sim Tshabalala.

Masiyiwa said the list of people was growing dramatically and now had reached 30.

“Africa is becoming conscious of synergies that exist between entrepreneurship and development,” he said.

Masiyiwa praised the incumbent AU chair Nkosazana Zuma as the well positioned  person to lead such an initiative partly due to her background in health education saying she understand the harmful impact of Ebola.

Masiyiwa said business was affected by everything that affects human life and the African economy.

“The meeting in Addis is historical as it will take place at the AU chamber and being chair by the AU commissioner,” said Masiyiwa.

“Our focus is the economy and well-being of our generation. The African people will not allow Ebola to persist like the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”  

The Ebola epidemic has so far claimed over 4000 lives especially in three West African regions of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Turning into developmental challenges facing the region, Masiyiwa said Africa region needed to stamp out corruption as it was a cancer affecting economic growth and development. 

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