29 January 1961 |
|Known for||Founder and chairman of global telecommunications group Econet Wireless.|
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and chairman of global telecommunications group Econet Wireless. He currently serves on a number of international boards including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Counsel on Foreign Relations, the Africa Progress Panel, AGRA, the UN Sec General's Advisory Boards for Sustainable Energy, and for Education. He is a juror of the Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize. He is also one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, known as the Carbon War Room.
In 2012, when President Obama hosted the G-8 Summit at Camp David, he invited him to address the G-8 leaders on how to increase food production, and end hunger in parts of Africa.
Early Life & Education
Strive Masiyiwa was born in 1961 in Zimbabwe, which was then called Rhodesia. When he was 7, his family fled the country as Ian Smith's embattled government began to crumble. The family settled in Kitwe, a city in north central Zambia known for its copper mines. Masiyiwa's mother was an entrepreneur with interests in retail sales, small-scale farming, and transportation. His father worked at first in one of the nearby mines but later joined the family business. By the time Masiyiwa was 12 years old his parents could afford to provide him with a coveted European education. They sent him to private school in Edinburgh, Scotland. He graduated in 1978. In Britain, he earned a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Wales in 1983(Cum Laude). He worked briefly in the computer industry in Cambridge, England, but soon returned to Zimbabwe in 1984, hoping to aid the country's recovery after the war of independence it had won in 1980.
Econet Wireless is a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim, offering products and services in the core areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, internet and satellite.
The company’s activities include mobile cellular telephony, fixed networks, enterprise networks, fibre optic cables, and satellite services. It also provides payment solutions to banks across Africa.
Also, through Econet’s subsidiaries, the Group funds one of the largest orphan care programs in Africa, run by Capernaum Trust. Established in 1999, initially as the social investment arm of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the Trust is currently responsible for over 40,000 orphans.
Beyond telecoms, Strive Masiyiwa's business activities include operations and investments in some of Africa’s leading businesses in financial services, insurance, renewable energy, bottling for Coca-Cola, hotel and safari lodges. The Econet Group is also exploring several opportunities in targeted African other international emerging markets.
Masiyiwa was a member of the coordinating committee which set up the Social Dimensions Fund (SDF), an initiative to alleviate the impact of poverty arising during the implementation of economic reforms in Zimbabwe. He was also a founding member of the African Latin American Institute at Punta del Este in Uruguay in 1994. The institute promotes cultural, educational and business linkages between Southern Africa and the Mercosur region of Latin America.
Masiyiwa has served on numerous boards and trusts both in Zimbabwe and internationally. In 1995, Masiyiwa and his friend chaidaishe were appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund (SAEDF) which is chaired by Ambassador Andrew Young. He is also a member of Thebe Investment Corporation of South Africa, an empowerment company that was set up by the Mbabatho Trust of the ANC.
In 1990, Masiyiwa was the youngest ever recipient of Zimbabwe's coveted Businessman of the Year Award; in 1998 he was named his country's Manager of the Year as well as Entrepreneur of the Year. He was named by Junior Chamber International (JCI) as one of the "Ten Most Outstanding Young Persons of the World" for 1999. In 2002 he was named to Time Magazine's Global Business Influentials List.
He was also the publisher of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, shut down by the government in late 2003 after its management refused to comply with new media regulations which required that media organisations be registered with a government commission.
Masiyiwa is a devout born again Christian who now devotes 50% of his time to educating young African youths on Entrepreneurship. He also teaches on the power of Christian faith and how his faith in Jesus Christ is key to him achieving success with integrity. He has a very popular verified Facebook page were he regularly posts details of his early life and how his Christian faith was and still remains a cornerstone of his astounding success.
Masiyiwa is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. Every year, the Panel releases a report, the Africa Progress Report, that outlines an issue of immediate importance to the continent and suggests a set of associated policies. In 2012, the Africa Progress Report highlighted issues of jobs, justice, and equity. The 2013 report will outline issues relating to oil, gas, and mining in Africa.
- Out of Zimbabwe, a telecoms boss means serious business in Africa Guardian
- Time Magazine's profile
- Sunday Times' article
- Strive Masiyiwa's biography