Strive Masiyiwa the CEO of Econet Global has shared some opinions regarding the Corona Virus which has become a global epidemic (it qualifies as an epidemic right?) and in the process has drawn parallels between Chinese companies and some of the local companies he is associated with.
“Businesses should intervene during the time of crisis”
Chinese Businesses are on the frontline of fighting the Corona Virus:
Last week I got an email from the office of my friend Jack Ma of Alibaba asking to share information on my experience in fighting the Ebola virus. I was amazed by all the things Jack Ma and others in China are doing!
Almost every single Chinese business [big and small] is doing something to fight the virus.
Interesting DiDi [China’s version of Vaya] is providing FREE transport for Nurses and doctors …sound familiar?!
Vaya is currently offering FREE transport to Zimbabwe’s nurses and doctors. WE HAVE DONE THIS FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS!
I just read an article in a Chinese paper about initiatives by small businesses right across China. They are doing everything possible to get involved. IN A CRISIS IT IS A DISGRACE NOT TO GET INVOLVED.Strive Masiyiwa
Interestingly during the Corona outbreak, Strive notes that DiDi which is a ride-hailing app similar to Vaya is offering free transport to nurses and doctors just like Vaya has been doing for over half a year now. Masiyiwa probably brings this up because when he intervened during the doctor’s crisis a number of people (especially on social media) accused the businessman of bailing out a government that did not deserve assistance and of also harbouring political ambitions.
Outside of the most recent crises, Masiyiwa’s businesses have assisted during Cyclone Idai, Cholera outbreaks and many more occasions and to be fair, each time these businesses have assisted, there have been people who argue that the motives behind their doing so are not pure. It’s not surprising that the CEO would draw parallels with businesses acting in a similar vein to his own.
“Do not rush to social media to criticise”
At this point, it’s also fair to say that Masiyiwa isn’t exactly fond of Twitter. The businessman and his wife left the social media site after what he claims to be a bullying incident last year, and again in his reflections on the Corona crisis he urges Africans to desist from becoming armchair “TWITTER foremen”:
Now here is the lesson for us in Africa:
China is the second most powerful country in the world, and has resources and capability to boot. It’s military built a 1000 bed hospital from scratch to finish in 10 days!
And YET, their businesses still want to get involved. In Africa during crises many of us just like to watch and criticize, and become armchair TWITTER foremen!
We will never overcome any crisis whether health or economic by just watching from the sidelines.
It is also important for our policy makers not to be arrogant in a crisis, and engage others to join and offer solutions:
If your house is burning, and a neighbor comes with a bucket of water, you do not question their motive, simply because you quarreled with them in the past. That is silly!
This Corona Virus is SERIOUS, VERY SERIOUS! We need everyone to get involved in preparations.