One man, thousands of ventilators

Strive Masiyiwa is a cult figure among young Africans. The billionaire started his first company with $ 75 starting capital. Today he is helping his home continent in the fight against the corona virus.

Strive Masiyiwa during a roundtable discussion in London

Wow do you get tens of thousands of ventilators for Africa’s hospitals in the shortest possible time? First he called “Jeff”, says Strive Masiyiwa. The former Ebay founder Jeff Skoll had already got involved with a lot of money and vigor during the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Unsurprisingly, he had ideas for inexpensive models in mind. Then the two contacted “Richard” (Branson) who “employs many clever engineers at Virgin Galactic”. And in the end, the South African billionaire Christo Wiese came along and agreed to manufacture the devices in his company in South Africa. The first 1000 devices are now being produced, 30,000 are planned.

In the corona crisis, private initiatives in Africa are called for more than anywhere else in the world. Telecom entrepreneur Masiyiwa from Zimbabwe is one of the most active in the fight against the pandemic. In April, his foundation donated 45 complete ventilation units for intensive care units in Zimbabwe, each valued at $ 15,000 to $ 100,000. In June, he funded corona test kits so that medical staff and those in need can be tested free of charge. As a special envoy for the African Union, he also launched an online platform on which African governments can order protective clothing and medical equipment.