Gaborone — One of the most universally recognised African public figures, internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean entrepreneur and philanthropist Mr Strive Masiyiwa has extolled the virtues of Botswana as a globally attractive investment destination.
Speaking to BOPA after paying a courtesy call on President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, Mr Masiyiwa, who was in Gaborone for a youth entrepreneurship meeting, said the country, where he founded Mascom Wireless 21 years ago had a conducive environment for both domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors to thrive.
"Botswana is one of the best places to invest, by every data, a statistic that you want, and as I go around the world I keep telling people, not to forget Botswana as a good place to invest.
I have been here for 21 years, quiet because I have nothing to complain about. Right here in Botswana, are young people ready to be the next billionaire.
With a very high literacy rate, this country can produce entrepreneurs," Mr Masiyiwa said.
A philanthropist funding orphan care, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer and malnutrition campaigns as well as scholarships for young Africans, Mr Masiyiwa explained that his mission to the country was to inspire youth entrepreneurs.
"A few years ago, I wanted to start helping young African entrepreneurs, by sharing my own story, by encouraging them to start their own businesses or expand their businesses, so I move from one African capital to another holding these town hall discussions," he said.
His most recent visits were to Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda.
"When I visit a country, sometimes the president joins me; such as President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Yuweri Museveni of Uganda and now President Masisi here."
Mr Masiyiwa said his focus was teaching the youth how to start and grow businesses and how such enterprises could be a source of employment for others.
"There could be some young creative person out there who is currently working on designing the new app (software application). My job is to encourage them. It also requires good, solid national policy frameworks that make it easy for young people once they start their businesses," he said.
Welcoming the business magnate to his office, President Masisi shared fond memories of the late former President Sir Ketumile Masire during whose tenure Mascom Wireless acquired a license to operate in Botswana.