MR STRIVE MASIYIWA (b 1961) has been in business since 1986. He first came to international prominence when he fought a landmark constitutional legal battle for 5 years in the African country of Zimbabwe. The ruling which led to the removal of the monopoly of the state in telecommunications is generally regarded as one of the key milestones, in opening the African telecommunications sector to private capital.
His flagship business, South African based Econet Wireless (www.econetwireless.com) is now a global telecommunications group with operations, investments and offices in more than 15 countries (in Africa, Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific).
The company’s activities include mobile cellular telephony, fixed networks, enterprise networks, fibre optic cables, and satellite services. They also provide payment solutions to banks across Africa.
Other business activities include operations and investments in some of Africa’s leading businesses in areas such as financial services, insurance, renewable energy, bottling for Coca-Cola, hotel and safari lodges.
Strive Masiyiwa is a well-known international business leader who has won numerous international recognition and awards. Some of his awards include the following :
“10 Most Outstanding Young Persons of the World”
(Jaycees 1999 – Business Category)
“15 Global Influential’s of the Year”
(CNN/Time Magazine Poll -2003)
Builders of Modern Africa
(2010 – Winner)
“25 Leaders of Africa’s Renaissance”
(Times of London – 2011)
“20 Most Powerful Business People in African Business”
(Forbes Magazine – 2011)
Invited by President Barak Obama to attend G-8 Summit at Camp David
(G-8 Summit, Camp David - 2012)
As a respected business leader today, Strive Masiyiwa speaks regularly on business and economic issues at major international gatherings, and has been regularly featured in leading international publications and television programmes, among them the Economist, Newsweek, CNN, Barron’s of New York and the Financial Times and The World Economic Forum.
As one of a small, but rapidly growing number of global companies from Africa, Econet Wireless is at the forefront of ensuring that the voice of African business is heard at major international gatherings.
The company not only participates in such events, but has also actively sponsored, hosted, and supported meetings and dialogues, to promote better understanding concerning African economic issues, as well as social development issues, health and the environment.
Strive Masiyiwa is internationally recognised for his leadership contributions in a number of areas outside of business including his crusading campaigns to stamp out corruption in Africa. He is a leading business voice, championing the establishment and promotion of the rule of law.
Over the years Strive Masiyiwa has served on many international boards and foundations.
He is currently involved in the following not-for-profit organisations :
President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address to the 2013 graduates of Morehouse College, Strive Masiyiwa, in the background, welcomed him, as one of the Colleges Trustees.
Milken Global Conference - 2013
Investing in African Prosperity
MILKEN—The Milken Global Conference presented an exciting final panel on Wednesday about investing in Africa that included South Africa -based Econet Wireless Group founder Strive Masiyiwa, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, Conference founder Michael Milken and Rwanda President H.E. Paul Kagame and Rhonda I. Zygocki, executive vice president of policy and planning for Chevron Corporation
Strive Masiyiwa was recently invited by President Barak Obama, to join a meeting at Camp David with G-8 leaders, to discuss an issue of global concern.
Chicago Round Table Symposium
G-8 Summit - 2012 - Camp David
President Obama addresses the Chicago Round Table Symposium shortly before the G-8 Summit.
President Obama welcomes leaders (including Strive Masiyiwa) to G-8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland.
One of the most respected Universities in America, Morehouse College where the late civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jnr. was educated has honoured Strive Masiyiwa with an honorary doctorate for his humanitarian work and philanthropy.
Strive Masiyiwa and his family live in Johannesburg, South Africa.He is a born-again Christian.
This CNN video shows Econet Solar's new invention, the Home|Power|Station - a device that is destined to improve the quality of many lives in developing countries around the globe.
CNN Marketplace Africa sits down with Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of Econet Wireless.
As one of the most respected African business leaders today, Mr. Masiyiwa speaks regularly on African business at major international business gatherings and has been regularly featured in leading international publications and television programs, among them the Economist, Newsweek, Barron’s of New York, Financial Times and CNN.
“As I’m writing about these businesses, ......I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Strive Masiyiwa, chairman and founder of Econet, one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. ...... Strive is passionate about Africa gaining full economic freedom. ....he wanted to make an even bigger difference.”
“one of the people responsible for this communications revolution is one of my co-founders in the carbon war room, Strive Masiyiwa.”
“In 1965, when Strive was seven years old, Rhodesia’s leader Ian Smith authored a unilateral declaration of independence from Britain. Strive’s parents left the country, sending their son to a boarding school in Edinburgh. Strive longed to return home and he planned eventually to go to Zambia and join the guerrillas, just across the border, to fight in the armed struggle against Smith’s ruling white minority. But then he talked to his cousin- who ran a training camp for the guerrilla army that would one day become Robert Mugabe’s Zanu –PF party- who told him he was too late: the war was all but won. What the new country needed now, more than soldiers, was educated people. Strive listened to his cousin's wise words and stayed in Britain to study, earned his degree, and, returning to what was now Zimbabwe, he went to work for the national telephone company. Growing emerging markets and mobile phone networks have become a marriage made in heaven. Mobile networks are quicker and cheaper to buy than landlines. In 1993, Strive had no trouble acquiring the finance needed to launch his first mobile phone company. The trouble was that Mugabe did not want to grant any licences for new mobile phone companies. Strives legal battles with Mugabe came to a head in 1996 when the presidential decree banned private cell phone operations. But Strive did not give up and decided to take the government to court. In December 1997 he won his case and proceeded to set up Econet as a successful mobile phone company in Zimbabwe.
By then, however, Strives vision had grown. His ambitions had extended beyond his troubled country's frontiers, and from his headquarters in Johannesburg he decided to create a truly multinational African Business, one that today spans seven countries,boasts more than twenty-five million customers and generates an estimated $3 Billion (£1.8 Billion) in annual revenues. Econet is a celebrated example of African entrepreneurship and is changing people’s lives for the better every day.
Strive also has a deep sense of responsibility about giving something back to the community. Through the Capernaum Trust, which he set up with his wife, profits have so far provided education for 26,000 orphans. Strive sits on the board of Trusties of the Rockefeller Foundation and works with Kofi Annan’s Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – as well as being the co founder with me and seven other entrepreneurs in the Carbon War room.
Just as important as what he is doing individually are the values Strive has instilled in his company. The firm provides counselling and antiretroviral drugs for its employees and their families who are living with HIV/AIDS. It spreads entrepreneurial opportunity, investing in heavily in community phone shops and payphones throughout its local markets to bring connectivity to people who would normally not be able to afford it. In brining telecommunications to those communities, Econet is empowering local populations, giving them the chance to be entrepreneurs by running these businesses. Econet’s phones, like millions of others around the world, are becoming doctors, insurance companies, banks and so much more.
The opportunity to use the mobile phone to drive change in the world is enormous, with over 5.3 Billion mobile phone users in the world and 90% of the world’s population able to get access to a mobile service. Take health: by 2015, five hundred million people will be using mobile health applications around the world. This simple device is transforming our response to health issues, from prevention of diseases such as HIV with education through mobile games, to diagnostic and treatment support, to outbreak tracking, the list goes on...”