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Strive Masiyiwa Becomes Zimbabwe’s First Billionaire on Forbes List

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Zimbabwe’s telecom magnate has become the first Zimbabwean to be officially recognised as a billionaire by Forbes with an estimated net worth of USD$2.8 billion and is ranked number 8 on the Forbes list of rich Africans.

Strive Masiyiwa Humble Beginnings…

Strive Masiyiwa was born in 1961 and lived his early years in Zambia. He did his secondary school in Edinburgh, Scotland where he graduated in 1978. He earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Wales in 1983 and returned to Zimbabwe in 1984.

His overcame heavy challenges from the Zimbabwean government who were blocking him from acquiring a telecom network licence which he eventually acquired in 1998, and this saw the birth of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

Econet Wireless was listed in the Zimbabwean Stocks Exchange in 1998 and quickly became the leading phone network company in the country.

Strive Masiyiwa Business Portfolio…

The London based enterprising businessman is the founder of one of the largest telecoms company in Africa Econet that has a footprint in countries that include Zimbabwe, Botswana, New Zealand, Europe, China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and South Africa.

In addition to his Econet Group holdings company he is a majority stake holder in Liquid Telecom that specialises in fibre optics and satellite services, Kwese TV which shows on-demand quality programming that shows movies, entertainment, sports and so forth.

Born in 1961 Strive studied for a Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Wales and founded Econet Wireless in 1998 after spending about 5 years of having challenges with Zimbabwe’s government in acquiring a cellular license.

His business interests range from telecoms, financial services, television, renewable energy and insurance.

Strive Masiyiwa Personal Life…

Strive Masiyiwa lives in London, England and has six children with his wife Tsitsi. He has been named by Fortune Magazine in 2017 as number 33 on their list of World’s Greatest Leaders, a list which included the likes of Elon Mask.

He has won many accolades and recognition such as the Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in 2015, UN Global Leadership award for the The Africa Against Ebola Campaign in 2015 in New York.

He also sits on the boards of The Rockefeller Foundation, US Council on Foreign Relations International Advisory Board, Grow Africa, the Asia Society, The African Union’s (AU) EBOLA Fund, the Africa Progress Panel (APP), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), The Micronutrient Initiative of Canada, Morehouse College Board and The Pan African Strategic Institute just to mention a few.

Strive Masiyiwa is also a philanthropist that established along with his wife Tsitsi the Higherlife Foundation that looks after more than 26 000 orphans and disadvantaged children in Burundi, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Strive pledged $100 million to finance rural entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe, and has donated USD$10 million that went to fighting the 2019 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.