30 Unbelievable Facts We Bet You Didn't Know About Strive Masiyiwa


Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and executive chairman of Econet Wireless, a diversified international Telecommunications, Media and Technology group, is often considered as one of the Africa's most generous humanitarians. Here are some important facts about the London-based Zimbabwean businessman:

  1.  He is the only African member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience. He also reportedly sits on two United Nations Advisory Panels.
  2.  He was ranked in the list of "20 Most Powerful Business People in African Business," and in the "25 Leaders of Africa's Renaissance Award" list by Forbes Magazin and Times of London in the year 2011.
  3.  He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by African Business Awards and Brand Africa Awards, as well as International Rescue Committee Award by Freedom Award in the year 2015.
  4.  He was named as one of the "10 most outstanding young leaders of the world" by the World Junior Chamber of Commerce in the year 1998. The accolade was previously bestowed to Joh Kennedy.
  5.  Masiyiwa was named as one of the most influential business leaders in the world by the CNN Time magazine in the year 2003.
  6.  In September 2014, he was asked by the Chair of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to help mobilize resources for Africa's response to the EBOLA outbreak, marking the first time The AU had asked a business leader to undertake such a role.
  7.  He is said to have spearheaded the set up of the first ever Pan African fund raising campaign known as #AfricaAgainstEbola Solidarity Fund, along with the help of other leaders.
  8.  The said fund raising enabled The AU to deploy the largest known contingency of African healthcare workers to help combat the spread of the deadly pandemic.
  9.  He along with four other business leaders were invited by President Barack Obama to attend the 38th G8 summit at Camp David in the year 2012, to address them on strategies to increase food production and end poverty in parts of Africa.
  10.  He was ranked as one among the 50 most influential business leaders in the world by the Fortune Magazine in the year 2014.
  11.  At the UN Global Leadership 2015 Awards dinner, The Africa Against Ebola Campaign was recognized for their humanitarian contributions, and Masiyiwa being the Chairman of the Trust accepted the award on behalf the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust.
  12.  He, along with Elon Musk and LeBron James, was ranked at #33 in the World's Greatest Leaders list for 2017 by the Fortune Magazine.
  13.  He sits on the board of The Rockefeller Foundation, the Africa Progress Panel (APP), US Council on Foreign Relations International Advisory Board, The Micronutrient Initiative of Canada, the Asia Society, the Pan African Strategic Institute, The African Union's (AU) EBOLA Fund, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Grow Africa, and the Morehouse College Board.
  14.  Strive Masiyiwa was born on January 29, 1961 in Zimbabwe. He completed his primary school in Zambia, and secondary education in Scotland. He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wales.
  15.  In the year 2015, he was named as one among the "10 Most Powerful Men in Africa" in the 2015 annual list of Forbes Magazine.
  16.  He first started his career as a telecoms engineer for the state-owned telephone company. However, he set up his own company with the equivalent of $75, after quitting his job.
  17.  Within a span of five years, he became one of the country's leading industrialists, having built a large electrical engineering business.
  18.  He diversified his business into telecoms, with the emergence of mobile cellular telephony, but had to face major problems when the Zimbabwean government of Robert Mugabe refused to grant a license to operate his business, named as Econet Wireless.
  19.  He, then reportedly appealed to the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe, on the basis that the refusal constituted a violation of "freedom of expression."
  20.  After a five-year legal battle, within which he was at the brink of bankruptcy, The Zimbabwean court, then one of the most respected on the continent, ruled in his favor, leading to the removal of the state monopoly in telecommunications.
  21.  He listed Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in July 1998 on the local stock exchange, in an effort to thank the thousands of ordinary people who supported him during his long legal battle.
  22.  As of today, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is currently the second-largest company in Zimbabwe by market capitalization that is said to dominate the Zimbabwe economy.
  23.  He left Zimbabwe to move to South Africa in March 2000, where he founded The Econet Wireless Group, a new and completely separate organization from the Zimbabwean entity.
  24.  He, with partners, established key businesses such as Econet Wireless International, Econet Wireless Global, Mascom Wireless Botswana, Econet Wireless Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria), Econet Satellite Services and Lesotho Telecom, among others.
  25.  The Econet Wireless Group he created in South Africa is said to have operations and investments in more than 20 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, Latin America, China and United Arab Emirates. He moved to London after more than ten years of business in South Africa, though he is still said to retain significant business interests in South Africa.
  26.  His Econet Wireless with business operations and investments in more than 20 countries, till date remains to be privately held global telecommunications company. However, his Zimbabwean business, the only listed entity, is often mistaken as the holding company.
  27.  Masiyiwa partnered with John Stanton for a venture called Trilogy International Partners, which built the New Zealand's third mobile network operator known as "2 Degrees."
  28.  He is said to own just over half of private company Liquid Telecom Group, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms spanning over 14 countries. He is also said to have a controlling interest in Seldon Technologies, based in Vermont USA, that manufacturers nano fiber carbon products.
  29.  He and his wife Tsitsi founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho. His family foundation is said to have supported and educated more than 40,000 children.
  30.  He is an avid environmentalist and is the founder of the Carbon War Room, together with Sir Richard Branson. He is also involved in supporting a diverse range of health issues, and has been actively involved in campaigns against HIV/AIDS, Cervical Cancer, malnutrition, and more recently EBOLA.
  31.  Strive Masiyiwa Net Worth: $1.9 Billion

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