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Strive Masiyiwa Becomes Zimbabwe’s First Billionaire on Forbes List

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Zimbabwe’s telecommunications magnate has become the first Zimbabwean to be officially recognized as a billionaire by Forbes with an estimated net value of USD$1.1 billion and is ranked among the richest Africans on the Forbes list of billionaires.

Strive Masiyiwa Humble Beginnings…

Strive Masiyiwa was born in 1961 and lived in Zambia at the beginning of his life. He attended his secondary school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he graduated in 1978. He graduated in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wales in 1983 and returned to Zimbabwe in 1984.

He overcame the serious challenges of the Zimbabwean government, which blocked him from acquiring a telecommunications network license that he eventually acquired in 1998, and this led to the birth of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

Econet Wireless was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 1998 and quickly became the leading telephone network company in the country.

Strive Masiyiwa Business Portfolio…

The London-based entrepreneur is the founder of one of the largest telecommunications companies in Africa, Econet, with a footprint in countries including Zimbabwe, Botswana, New Zealand, Europe , China, the United Arab Emirates ( UAE), the United Kingdom and South Africa.

In addition to his Econet Group holdings, he is the majority shareholder in Liquid Telecom, which specializes in fibre-optic and satellite services, Kwese TV, which broadcasts on-demand quality programming that broadcasts movies, entertainment , sports and so on.

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 five years challenging Zimbabwe’s government to acquire a cellular licence.

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

Strive Masiyiwa Personal Life…

Strive Masiyiwa is living in London, England, and has six children with his wife Tsitsi. In 2017, Fortune Magazine named him number 33 on their list of the world’s greatest leaders, a list that included the likes of Elon Mask.

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

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

Strive Masiyiwa is also a philanthropist who, along with his wife Tsitsi, founded the Higherlife Foundation, which is responsible for more than 26 000 orphans and disadvantaged children in Burundi, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Strive pledged $100 million to fund rural entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe and donated $10 million to combat the 2019 outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe.