On the 4th of August 2017, Higherlife Co-Founder, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa participated at the first ever NBA Africa Innovation Summit in Johannesburg. The Summit brought together leaders from business, entertainment, philanthropy, sports, social entrepreneurship, technology and youth development ‘to share and explore innovative ways of addressing challenges in youth development across Africa.’
The summit was part of a series of events leading up to the 2017 NBA Africa Game and its theme “Investing in innovation for Africa’s youth” was focused on making “the growing youth bulge” an opportunity that Africa can explore to accelerate its growth and prosperity.
Opening the summit was National Basketball Association (NBA) Vice president and Managing Director- Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall who spoke on the importance of fostering a culture of innovation amongst Africa’s youths. “We must capture the attention and imagination of our youth and instil in them a sense of curiosity beyond what’s possible, and encourage them to achieve what seems impossible,” stressed Mr Fall.
Mr Fall also highlighted the need for business community to start engaging the youths in ways that contributed the development of Africa as a continent. Through the establishment of the NBA Africa office in Johannesburg, Mr Fall has spearheaded the development of basketball on the African continent to ensure the holistic development of young people in Africa’s communities. “Basketball is a vehicle for the growth we all want to see because it brings people together. Our efforts are to grow the game and create positive social change across the continent,” added Mr Gallo Fall.
Higherlife Co-Founder Mr Strive Masiyiwa took part in a fireside chat alongside NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Mr Masiyiwa spoke on the innovative ways of engaging Africa’s young people to lead the way in leap frogging Africa to being the amazing continent it is. “Innovation is the only way forward. Our health, the education of our children and the creation of dignified employment for our future generations- all depend on innovation,” expressed Mr Masiyiwa.
Throughout the discussion Mr Masiyiwa highlighted the importance of sport and innovation in building up Africa’s future leaders. “Just look at the role of innovation in a sport like basketball!” Through Higherlife Foundation which he founded together with his wife Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Mr Masiyiwa believes in the all-round development of the youth through sport and education. The foundation focuses on the fostering physical, social and emotional health of its beneficiaries.
Through collaborative relationships with Hoops 4 Hope, Higherlife Foundation provides education opportunities and mentorship to vulnerable youths who are talented in basketball.
“A critical priority is imagining ways to leverage and propel the power of innovation to ensure our future generations in Africa have far more opportunities than challenges”
The Summit also had amazing panels that saw thought leaders in different industries partake in conversations pertaining to issues related to the development of Africa’s youth and the community. In a one on one conversation with acclaimed CNN Africa journalist Eleni Giokos, Jay Ireland the President and CEO of General Electric Africa, stressed the importance of education in making a difference in Africa. “Education is key to drive innovation in Africa, as well as having the right infrastructure like schools,” stated Mr Ireland.
In the panel titled “Creating an ecosystem that spurs innovation,” multi-platinum selling artist and Co-founder and Chairman of Solektra International –an organisation that provides renewable solar solutions in Africa’s rural communities- Akon, highlighted the essence of African innovation. “Africans have always been innovators, we just didn’t have the infrastructure. The biggest misconception is that Africa is not ready. It is, you just have to understand how it works,” expressed Akon.
Through Ruzivo Smart Learning- an innovative technological solution- that is bringing a new blended learning approach to Zimbabwean primary and secondary school education, Higherlife Foundation under the visionary leadership of Mr and Mrs Masiyiwa is creating an ecosystem that fosters equal opportunities for Africa’s communities and spurs innovation.
To learn more about Ruzivo please visit: www.ruzivodigitallearning.co.zw