Africa must own its problems: Mutasa

Mutasa said if Africa did not think at scale, it would not amount to anything at a time when its participation in the global economy is low at 2%.

MASAWARA Group founder and chief executive officer Shingai Mutasa says Africa must own its problems to grow at scale.

Mutasa made the remarks at the In Conversation with Trevor (ICWT) Africa Day Gala Dinner held on Thursday in Harare. The business executive was the guest speaker.

Mutasa said if Africa did not think at scale, it would not amount to anything at a time when its participation in the global economy is low at 2%.

“We must be clear. Africa’s problems are not the West’s, Africa’s problems are not China’s, Africa’s problems are not India’s or other nations but ours and ours alone,” he said.

“Our challenges actually stem from mainly our mindsets. Each country and region has a different set of problems, but they all originate from our mindset.”

Mutasa said the mindset was ruined through the colonisation of the continent as it splits Africa, keeping it from working together which would have led to much more success.

“It is time for us to begin to rebuild our continent…No country or region, society, nation, or community can truly succeed without a clear capacity to believe in itself or have the capacity to self-exalt because the mind is the most powerful instrument that we have and ours requires a reset,” Mutasa said.

The tycoon is one of the few leading businessmen in the country who has been attracted to media mogul, Trevor Ncube’s ICWT, a weekly podcast that is nearing 10 million lifetime views on YouTube.

ICWT has seen Ncube conducting weekly interviews with exceptional and leading individuals in different fields both locally and in Africa. Its success spawned the inaugural three-day Ideas Festival Conference last year, an annual event to share and create fresh new ideas to better produce a more prosperous society.

Ncube is the founder of the private media firm, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), publishers of the NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent. AMH also owns the broadcaster, Heart&Soul.

At the gala dinner, Ncube said ICWT had 8,9 million lifetime views on YouTube, 1,9 million impressions on X, 6,7 million views on Instagram and 1,6 million views on TikTok.

“Elsewhere in the world, I would be the third richest man in the country after Shumba [Masawara Group owner and chief executive officer, Shingai Mutasa) and Strive Masiyiwa [Econet Group founder and executive chairperson] because executives and brand deals would be rushing to advertise on this platform. But, this ZiG economy makes things a bit tough,” Ncube said.

“What am I saying? You are missing an opportunity. This is perhaps the most powerful platform that this nation has. There isn’t a newspaper that would give you this kind of following.”

He said the idea that led into the creation of the Ideas Festival Conference came following a discussion with Sudanese-British billionaire, Mo Ibrahim, who had suggested the creation of a more localised World Economic Forum, akin to that held in Davos, Switzerland.

“You are witness to the birth of our own Davos,” Ncube said.

“It is not just another conference. It is an ideas festival where we interrogate ideas, where we encourage each other, where people who are starting startups come and say this is what I am banking with, how can you help with funding and all that other stuff.”

This year’s edition of the Ideas Festival will be held from October 29 to November 3 in Nyanga.

Ncube revealed that respected banker Nicholas Vingirai and businessman Shingi Munyeza also contributed to creating the conference.

Related Topics