I like to post nice write ups with provoking thoughts on my blog.
Mr Strive Masiyiwa is an inspiring Christian, and an excellent business man. He is the founder of ECONET Wireless as well as other businesses. Here is his take on corruption and doing business in Africa.
One of the questions, I am often asked by people who want to invest in Africa, is how do I deal with people demanding bribes….
My answer is really quite simple: I have never had any difficulty with saying, “NO”.
Corruption only occurs at the point you decide to participate; it takes two. There is the one demanding it, and the one who pays it.
And really this is how we fight it: each one of us, saying NO.
For me personally, dealing with corruption has never been difficult because of my faith. In my own mind, to quote, the Apostle Paul, “I am fully persuaded” that there is no person or force, in all the universe, that has the capacity to stop something which God has given me. This is a deep, deep conviction for me. I believe that I will never ever be disadvantaged because I walked away from a corrupt deal. In fact, on this the bible is clear: if I walk away, or lose anything because of my conviction that it is wrong, God will replace it with something much bigger and better,..”in this life” (Mark 10:29- 30).
Sometimes I have been viciously persecuted, because of my stand against corruption, at other times, I have had to wait for years, because some corrupt individual or individuals, were blocking our way. And always I prevailed, because, “faith abides” (it never, ever, fails).
Ironically some of the worst corruption I have witnessed, was not in governments, but in the private sector. Some of the most corrupt people I have known were not Africans, but, we as Africans must take responsibility, individually, and collectively, to fight corruption.
I could write a book about what happens to you spiritually when you accept a bribe, or offer one, but I will not do so, today. And for those of you who do not consider the spiritual perspective, let me rather respectively, say this:
We would not, as Africans, need aid from anybody if we tackle corruption; no child would sleep hungry if we tackle corruption; there would be no injustice, if we tackle corruption; every child will be in school, if we tackle corruption. The most powerful force, against corruption begins with one person, saying “NO”.
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