Zimbabwean-born, Dr Nkosana Moyo, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) and has a passion for working with the youth to create a different future for Africa, one in which the continent can shake off the shackles that have held it back and harness the energy, imagination and innovation of its people.
Perhaps it is his family background that set him on this path. Born into what he describes as a simple family of peasant farmers, his parents had a different mindset when it came to raising children to the traditional approach. “In the typical African traditional set-up, children are seen, but not expected to have views and opinions, but my family was not like that. We were always encouraged to have a voice and voice.”
His career has seen him working in various sectors, both in government and also the private sector, specifically in finance and banking in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, London and the USA. Returning to his home, Dr Moyo has chosen to work closely with young people, which is how Rotary came onto his radar. He was impressed by the organisation’s widespread reach in many sections of African society.
“I think the future of this continent is in the hands of the youth, and we have to find those organisations, like Rotary, that are interacting with, dealing with and engaging the youth so that we can partner in the conversations and formulations of possible strategies into the creation of that future,” says Dr Moyo, who strongly believes in the importance of finding similar-minded people in order to make progress.
Rotary is an organisation for all time, with a vision statement that is very applicable for the time we live in, but must also have been applicable when the organisation was founded, says Dr Moyo. “That in itself must explain why Rotary has survived for 100 years and will likely survive for many more provided it strives to be true to its vision.”
Addressing delegates at the Rotary Africa Centennial event in April 2021, Dr Moyo outlined the “unique window of opportunity for Africa” in times of COVID and beyond, highlighting four conditions that needed to be met to ease some of the stresses that have arisen from what he called an “overshoot of the globalisation process”.
To be attractive as a shock absorber, Africa would have to address the market fragmentation of the continent; the infrastructure deficit; relax its tendency to prescribe ownership of investments; change its approach to pricing of goods and services to a market rather than a regulated approach; and lastly, developing financial instruments that provide a floor to the returns on investment as an incentive to investors, if necessary through a profit sharing formula, he said.
“My view is that addressing these specific four areas would create a real opportunity for Africa to come out of covid with a chance of extracting value.”
To find out what Africa should be doing now to ensure the continent emerges from the pandemic stronger than it was before, listen to Dr Nkosana Moyo’s full presentation at the Rotary Africa Centennial Event.