Can we stop the Tsunami? - August 2013
"The gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa is remarkable. We are the least equitable country in the whole world. This is a recipe for major strife and upheaval."
These were the words of Dr Mo Ibrahim, the Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, during his keynote address at this year's Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture recently where he spoke about "Building Social Cohesion" and called for all South Africans to work towards a united, cohesive, democratic and national society.
"The youth is the largest constituency in Africa,” he said. "Half of Africa's population is below 19 years old. This can be wonderful news for us, or a major problem. It is the reverse trend of what we are seeing in China, Japan and Europe, where the number of young people is very low. Can Africa dream of being the future factory of the world with China running out of workers? What a prospect for us."
"Millions of young people without jobs and more important, without hope, is a major problem. If you haven’t locked up your doors and called the army that is a bleak future to face. That is a very serious issue……. Our future depends on how we are going to deal with those young people. That is the mother of all social cohesion issues we face." – Dr Mo Ibrahim
So just how do we prevent this Tsunami of strife and upheaval? How do we grow our youth into ‘the future factory of the world’? The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, one of South Africa’s Change Makers, believes that what we need are high impact entrepreneurial leaders- People who are equipped with the skills and the mind-set to reimagine and reshape the way millions of us work and live. The Foundation therefore seeks to nurture and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set in the most promising of Southern Africa’s youth through its Scholarship and Fellowship opportunities.
Another Change Maker who shares this belief is the newly formed organisation called Start Up Cherry which helps people to find the best business ideas and make them happen. Start Up Cherry teaches the truth about what it takes to build a successful business and how to launch a business with extremely high odds of success.
In the public arena it is difficult not to feel disconsolate and disillusioned. But when we look beyond the media, we see something different. In our churches, in our businesses, in parliament, in our communities, on our playing fields and on the streets, our people are building a new South Africa. Some successfully, others struggling with a lack of support, but all are part of this great wave of change.
The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (http://www.togethersa.co.za/portfolio/allan-gray-orbis-foundation/) and Start Up Cherry (http://www.togethersa.co.za/portfolio/startupcherry/) - are two organisations that are putting up the sandbags to arrest theTsumani that Dr Mo Ibrahim warns us about.
It is up to each of us to work toward a united and cohesive society. For more of how to get involved go to: - http://www.togethersa.co.za/
Dr. Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim (born 1946) is a Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire. He set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, as well as creating the Mo Ibrahim Index, to evaluate nations' performance. In 2007 he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
South Africans Positively Influencing the Future.