The Zimbabwean government has invited Strive Masiyiwa back into the country. They want him to attend a National Dialogue forum being organized by the National Economic Consultative Forum in March. This is an interesting development since Masiyiwa had been in ‘exile’ for the better part of the last two decades.
Most of the country was waiting to see how the relationship between our government and Strive would go forward after the ‘coup-not-coup’. It seems we have an answer now as he is expected back in the country next month. We reasoned that the government had to make the first move. It seems that they’ve taken initiative by inviting him.
Personally, I think the government is trying their best to distance themselves from the Mugabe regime by reversing some of the unpopular decisions made back then. The government clearly knows the general public holds Masiyiwa highly and this move could be one to win people over as we head towards elections. Even though the move could be political I personally think it’s still a positive one.
The immediate impact of this invitation…
Strive is expected to present on “The role of innovation and entrepreneurship in the new Zimbabwe” at the National Dialogue forum draft programme. If he does end up making the presentation there is no doubt the event will be packed as business leaders try to pick Masiyiwa’s mind.
There is value in Masiyiwa coming and speaking at such events as it may give aspiring and local business owners much needed exposure. Obviously, the chance to interact with Masiyiwa will excite many business minded people. I mean, after all, the guy is a role model for many and considered one of our brightest exports.
I think the invitation sends a message to diasporans and other foreign investors as well. It hammers home the idea that “Zimbabwe is open for business” as the president has been saying. However, just because they invited it doesn’t mean he will accept.
March is a few weeks away. For a man with a schedule such as his, is it sufficient notice? Will he consider the invitation to be sincere? Will he want to give the current government some kind of political mileage by showing face?
We definitely hope he comes. We formally declare that if he does come we want to interview him. Why not?