World’s tech giant, Google, wants to bolster its presence in emerging markets.
The US-based user friendly search engine, which is worth over $105 billion, has eyed Africa’s emerging markets as a profitable, yet untapped and rewarding destination.
This explain the reason the tech giant was in Nairobi, Kenya, last week reaching out to potential African tech companies to partner with.
It was interesting to note that the only Southern African based company to be invited to the Nairobi meeting was Shepherd Bushiri Investments Limited (SBI).
Based in South Africa, but founded by a youthful Malawian citizen, Shepherd Bushiri, SBI is global investment company duly incorporated under the Company laws of the Republic of South Africa.
It was duly incorporated on the November 3 2015 with registration number 2015/386049/07.
As of today, SBI has several entities operating across the globe. Some of them, among others, includes: SB Airways, SB University, PSB Mobile Network, SB Real Estate, SB Stock Exchange, SB Mining and SB Media.
Moved by SBI’s resolute advance in technology with PSB network—currently boasting more than 1oo ooo subscribers in South Africa just in four months—and, again, Bushiri Buzz, a social chat network comprising not less than one million users across the globe, the tech Giant Google identified SBI as a potential strategic partner due to its reach, influence and value as a company and brand.
This should be good news for Malawi.
SBI is founded by a Malawian and everywhere he goes, Bushiri always maintain his love for his country and, interestingly, he always badges the Malawian flag and colour.
I remember, recently, on a trip to Nigeria, he instructed his designer, Thoko Phiri, to design outfits that purely represents Malawian colours. He argued he will always put on Malawi colours when he flies beyond borders.
Now, from what he said, look at implication—or ask Nzika Wears guys of what that means.
Bushiri runs the Enlightened Christian Gathering Ministry (ECG), which, in South Africa alone, has more than 300 000 registered members. I mean registered!
Further, the Prophet is even more popular—according to social network tracking giant Meltdown—in populous nations such as Nigeria (150 million people, Africa’s largest populos nation), where he visited recently and government gave him a 24 hour military and police guard and escort, and Kenya. Kenya is Africa’s most tourism bustling nation in Africa.
Besides that, his every service and move, anywhere on the globe, is followed by his 1.7 million followers on Facebook and, look here, 2.6 million viewers on his television channel, Prophetic Channel.
To mean, if Bushiri dons a Malawian outfit, just for once, that is strategic for getting the world to know about his business acumen and, most importantly, his origins which is a plus to Malawi.
I stay in Pretoria—an administrative capital of South Africa and also one of the cities, besides Johannesburg, in the famous province of Gauteng (GP).
Malawi, if you note, has more vehicles with a GP number plate, to mean, most Malawians are either in Pretoria or Johannesburg.
However, when you are in Pretoria and Johannesburg, the name Bushiri is a household name that does not just welcome you at O.R Tambo International Airport with that largest banner.
The name is a household name to taxi drivers at the airport, tomato sellers outside PSB networks in Midrands, Johannesburg, to large corporates—such as Jaguar, BMW and Mercedz Benz—where Bushiri is acting a guarantor to members who dreams driving poshy cars.
He has been to Malawi, in the past two years, making donations to the hungry, those in prison and, also, making social corporate responsibilities to both State and Private media companies.
But he does not just do that in Malawi. He has reached out to prisons in Nigeria, donated to the sick and underprivileged in South Africa, the relief food and meeting students’ fees in Malawi—just everything.
All this adds up to one comprehensive but conclusive fact: Bushiri is a Malawian export we need to work with, not against, in our quest not just to attract powerful tech giants such as Google.
We need him to help in negotiating partnerships that Malawi needs to be seen not as a regular beggar in the global development system, but, I underline, a key player.
This is what Google wants and this is what SBI, a company founded by a person proud to be Malawian, wants too.
- The author is the Communications Director for Shepherd Bushiri Investments (SBI).