Strive Masiyiwa can be described with these two words: vision and determination. He first came into limelight when he fought a landmark constitutional legal battle in Zimbabwe for 5 years. His determination during this battle led to the removal of the monopoly of the state in telecommunications.
His visionary quality led to the establishment of Econet Wireless Group, a telecommunications company. The decision to establish Econet has indeed brought him greatness as he is currently the richest man in Zimbabwe. Econet Zimbabwe is no doubt the largest mobile phone network in Zimbabwe with 9 million subscribers. Econet is in fact a global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries in Africa, Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. With activities like mobile cellular telephony, fixed networks, enterprise networks, fibre optic cables and satellite services, Econet currently has a net worth of over $600 million. Econet also provides payment solutions to various banks across Africa.
Masiyawa is a dedicated philanthropist and co-founder of Higher Life Foundation which he established with his wife, Tsitsi. The foundation provides scholarships and meals to orphans in Zimbabwe sponsoring over 30,000 children in public schools.
Another quality that has made Strive Masiyawa stand out is his ability to diversify. Apart from Econet, he engages in other business in Africa’s leading sectors ranging from financial services, insurance, renewable energy, bottling for Coca-Cola, hotel and safari lodges.
Masiyawa is a respected business leader and is a popular face in major international gatherings and publications such as the Economist, Newsweek, CNN, Barron’s of New York, the Financial Times and The World Economic Forum.
He is also an award winner as he has bagged various awards for his excellence in business. In 1999, he was named by the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) as one of the ‘Ten Most Outstanding Young Persons of the World.’
In 2003, he was selected as one of the ’15 Global Influentials of the year’ in a CNN/Time magazine poll.
In 2014 Fortune Magazine named Masiyiwa one of the 50 most influential business leaders in the world.
In 2015 Forbes Magazine named Masiyiwa in the 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa list for 2015.
In 2017 Fortune Magazine named Strive Masiyiwa number 33 in the World’s Greatest Leaders list for 2017.
During the Ebola outbreak in Africa, Masiyawa was among the African business leaders that helped mobilise resources to tackle the dreaded disease. Alongside other African leaders, he was able to set up the first ever Pan African fund raising campaign known as Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Fund. The fund raised millions of dollars which enabled the AU to deploy the largest known contingency of African health workers to combat the spread of Ebola in Africa.
Strive Masiyawa has also been on several international boards. He is also an active partner in numerous initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and social development in Africa. He is in fact currently on the boards of the Nelson Mandela Advisory Committee and Endeavor SA. Masiyawa is also an active participant in promoting the awareness of the AIDS in Africa.
In addition, Masiyawa is a member of the Africa Progress, a group of 10 distinguished individuals advocating for equitable and sustainable development in Africa.