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“Africa must respect the rule of law to prosper” – Strive Masiyiwa

HARARE – Telecommunications boss Strive Masiyiwa has emphasised the significance of respecting contracts and the rule of law.    Word...

HARARE – Telecommunications boss Strive Masiyiwa has emphasised the significance of respecting contracts and the rule of law. 
Words by Derick Matsengarwodzi: media consultant, author of forthcoming books (The Winners’ Workshop and Death is not Dearth) and founder of Aloe Media Group. Let us interact on: Facebook; Email:; Twitter handle: @TinzweiDerick or Blog:

The philanthropist, a recipient of the Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee noted this in his final instalment suggesting possible remedies to corruption.  

Respect contracts
“…The journalist asked me what I considered to be one of the greatest challenges for developing businesses in Africa. At the time, I said that we needed to foster a strong culture for respecting contracts and agreements. So many people believe they can just tear up an agreement, or completely ignore it, once its terms no longer suit their own interests.”

He cautioned that, sometimes in business negotiations, you may not have negotiated as well as you could have, you could have got a better deal or the other party did not disclose certain things but you cannot just “tear up the agreement that you just signed.” But always respect the initial agreement and always do your best to get a better deal. 

The United Nations Foundation benefactor added, “In the Nigerian shareholder disputes, my partners signed all the terms of the agreement when they needed me to secure the license and start the business. As soon as that agreement no longer served their own interests, or it stood in the way of what they wanted to do, they just cast it aside.”

Charity begins at home
Businesses must treat each agreement as though you had sworn it by oath before God. He proceeded, “For Africa to move forward, we must replace a culture of impunity with a culture of integrity, starting with our own families, businesses and communities. And we must model that integrity in our actions.”

Adherence to contracts is a must. “When you are a successor to an agreement entered into by others before you bought the business – you are bound by every agreement. It was your duty to check every agreement beforehand. Once you sign it, then you must adhere to it.

Sadly, some business and states bypass agreements thereby abusing the law. “If you tear up legal agreements and do not observe legal contracts, this means quite simply that you do not respect rule of law. Of a truth, you are really only as big as the extent to which you will go to respect a contract and an agreement.”

He concluded his educative write-up saying, “For Africa to prosper, we must all commit ourselves not only to promoting rule of law, but also complying with and respecting the spirit of the law.”The Aloe News  

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