Business Community Development

Masiyiwa speaks on his role as African Union Special Envoy

Strive Masiyiwa

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa has spoken about his new role as the ‘African Union’s Special Envoy to Coordinate the Africa Private Sector Initiative for the Procurement of PPEs and other Essential Supplies’.  Masiyiwa was recently appointed to the role by the African Union through its Chairperson, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Masiyiwa wrote:

#Update on my job as one of the Special Envoys on Africa’s COVID-19 Response:

This is currently my #1 job!

I’m working on average 10 hrs per day to find solutions, as per my mandate.

#Find critical supplies – Unblock the Supply Chain!

Africa has a critical shortage of key items, which are also in short supply worldwide.

#Testing Kits:

We need about 15million per month, if the continent is to achieve the level of Testing that will contain the spread of the disease and also eliminate lockdowns.

We are currently getting 2,5million per month, or about 50 000 per country!

These Test Kits are actually not easy to produce and setting up production factories will take time.

Every country has a shortage of these kits, including the USA.

We are close to meeting our target now. And there are innovations coming through which will see us eliminate the shortage completely.

#Personal Protection Equipment for Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers:

The specification required of PPE for those handling sick patients is extremely high, as it should be. The supply of such PPE is in critical global shortage.

…We are making good progress here too!

#Ventilators, and Oxygen support equipment:

We currently need over 50 000 of various types of this equipment.

I’m confident!

My approach to solving this “Supply Chain” problem:

My first task was to read up to get understanding of what was required – then speak to experts.

Next task:

-Mobilize African experts.

-Mobilize international support, even governments.

-Mobilize the African private sector.


I have built a team of experts and volunteers now, who really understand these issues. Many, like me, are also in DiasporaNation. They have joined to help HomeNations.


I’m confident that we can unblock the The Supply Chain:

-Give African countries immediate access to what they want;

-Ensure that prices are fair;

-Ensure they can be delivered quickly and efficiently.

We have began to build a formidable alliance of African and global partners, including funders, and suppliers.

The next two weeks will be crucial. There is much resistance, even against me personally. I will not be distracted because I understand where it comes from.

#You will soon know exactly what we are able to secure:

Since I believe in transparency, I will be issuing a progress report to the African governments, and the general public will also be able to see exactly what we have obtained through a website that we will launch in the first week of June.

Please continue to support us, even in your prayers.

Strive Masiyiwa

Read more about businessman and entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa’s work in combating COVID-19 on

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende