- About Strive masiyiwa
Chairman and Founder, Econet
Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Chairman of the Econet Group, a pan-African telecommunications, media and technology company with operations and investments in 29 countries.
Masiyiwa serves on several international boards including Unilever Plc, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, and Stanford University. A former board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He has served on two key United Nations Commissions, at the invitation of the Secretary-General – one on Financing Global Education Opportunity, and another on Sustainable Energy for All.
In Africa, he has worked on reform of the African Union and enabling the Continental Free-Trade Area, as part of a Taskforce led by President Paul Kagame. He also drives continent-wide digital transformation as the only private sector member, among a dozen Heads of State, of the SMART Africa Board.
As a philanthropist, Masiyiwa is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which has supported the education of over 250,000 African orphaned, vulnerable and gifted children across Africa over the past 20 years.
Over the last few years, Masiyiwa has devoted his time to mentoring the next generation of African entrepreneurs through his Facebook page, which has a growing followership of over 3.6-million young people from across the continent. For almost two years, Facebook has identified his platform as having the most engaged following of any business leader in the world.
Masiyiwa has been selected twice, in 2014 and 2017, to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”.
Strive Masiyiwa is a well-known international business leader who has won numerous international recognition and awards. Some of his awards include the following :
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.
White House Summit on Global Development - POTUS
A Tribute to Ambassador Andrew J. Young
Strive Masiyiwa - Anti-Corruption Summit London 2016
Strive Masiyiwa answers: how have you made your businesses more sustainable?
The Plan B Kick-Off Live Event
Strive Masiyiwa and Isis Nyong’o Madison Join the U.S.-Africa Business Forum Google Hangout
Closing Keynote - M4D Summit 2013
Strive Masiyiwa answers: how have you made your businesses more sustainable?
CSR Video Updates: Interview with Strive Masiyiwa
Econet Solar Home Power Station on CNN
President Obama Speaks on Food Security at G8 Meeting
President Obama Speaks on Supporting Agriculture to Fight Hunger
President Obama Delivers Morehouse College Commencement Address
Investing in African Prosperity
Strive Masiyiwa Delivers Morehouse College Commencement Address
CSR Video Updates: Interview with Strive Masiyiwa
Connecting a Continent: Linking Places, People and Markets
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.
Strive Masiyiwa is currently involved in the following for-profit and not-for-profit organisations :
The White House Summit on Global Development
Strive Masiyiwa was given the honor by the White House to introduce President Barack Obama at the White House Summit on Global Development an event held to mark the global progress and find ways to catalyze further development efforts that will improve real lives and deliver real outcomes in six key areas: energy, food security, global health, governance, partnership, and youth.
The Education Commission Conversation
On July 4, the Education Commission convened in Oslo, Norway to discuss next steps and review the findings of our researchers, global consultations and feedback from our Youth Panelists. At the meeting, several of our Commissioners shared their thoughts on the mission and how we can properly move forward once the recommendations are released in September.
In this conversation with Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman and Founder, Econet and Commissioner, the Education Commission, the Commissioner shares his thoughts on how to move forward with equal education around the globe.
Anti-Corruption Summit - London 2016
On 12 May, Prime Minister David Cameron, hosted the Anti-Corruption Summit in London to step up global action to expose, punish and drive out corruption in all walks of life. This was the first summit of its kind, bringing together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps. Strive Masiyiwa took part in a panel discussion during the summit which included Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Laura Stefan, the anti corruption coordinator for the Romanian Academic Society.
The Philanthropreneurship Forum
Panel: Emerging Markets, Emerging Countries
The Philanthropreneurship Forum explores the dynamics of creative philanthropy, and how its practice can catalyse entrepreneurialism, innovation and cross-sector collaboration to make gains in the fight against global challenges. The annual Forum brings together global leaders from philanthropy, development, academia, government and the private sector to critically examine how to achieve social impact, ensure sustainability and deliver scalable progress for communities around the world. The 2015 Philanthropreneurship Forum convened on December 12, 2015 in Versailles, France under the theme ‘New Frontiers of Philanthropy’.
How Strive Masiyiwa Empowers Africa - THE FOCUS Magazine Interview
Strive Masiyiwa, philanthropist and founder of Econet, speaks with THE FOCUS Magazine about determination, fundamental beliefs, and the responsibilities of African business leaders
Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF) and the African Philanthropy Forum (APF) - Interview
How can family support make philanthropy more effective? Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman of Econet and Founder of the Higher Life Foundation, draws upon his experience in business and entrepreneurship to create strategic solutions that will have greater impact on communities. Masiyiwa is dedicated to developing untapped human potential. In this video, Masiyiwa discusses how he and his family work to give underprivileged youth an opportunity to build a brighter future.
Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy
"How can the world prepare for a future epidemic — the next Ebola?"
Ebola requires physical contact. An airborne epidemic would be 100 times worse. Bill Gates, Dr Paul Farmer & Strive Masiyiwa lead a discussion on what Ebola taught us, and what philanthropists can do today to prevent an even more catastrophic outbreak.
Kenya National Prayer Breakfast
Strive Masiyiwa, was the the guest speaker at Kenya's 13th National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is held every year. It brings together a nation's leadership to pray & worship for their country.
Milken Global Conference (2015) - The Africa Business Fellowship
The Africa Business Fellowship is a partnership between Econet, African Leadership Network (ALN), and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT). The program will match young American business professionals with paid 6-month placements in African companies. Its purpose is to strengthen relationships between the African and American business communities and provide future American business leaders with the hands-on experience they need to truly understand business in Africa. We believe that by exposing high-achieving American professionals to African business at this stage in their careers, we are setting the stage for increased American-African investment and more meaningful collaboration.
2014 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue
Strive Masiyiwa, delivered the keynote address at the 2014 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue. The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognising -- without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs -- the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
Keynote Address by Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman of the Board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
Child Nutrition Roundtable
Mr Strive Masiyiwa, group chairman of Econet, chaired a roundtable on Child Nutrition co-hosted by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the World Bank and AU on the eve of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., August 4, 2014. The hIgh-level group of participants include the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim; Jamie Cooper-Hohn, Chair of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF); Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission; and AmamaMbabazi, Prime Minister of Uganda; and ministers of agriculture, foreign affairs, health and planning from a number of African countries, including Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea and Nigeria.
From left to right: Jamie Cooper-Hohn, Chair of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF); Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman of Econet Wireless; Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President; and H.E. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
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.
G-8 Summit Camp David
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.
Morehouse College Commencement Address
Atlanta, GA - 19 May 2013
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.
As one of a small, but rapidly growing number of global companies from Africa, Econet 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.
Milken Global Conference (2016) - Leaders of Companies that are Changing the World
A growing number of visionary business leaders worldwide are redefining "success" in the modern global economy. With a fresh eye, they have reevaluated their companies' roles in the context of promoting sustainability, transparency, environmental responsibility and positive social impact. This panel brings together leaders who are operating their businesses for profit while addressing some of the most pressing social and environmental problems. Have their strategies succeeded so far in effecting change? What are the greatest challenges they face? How do they navigate the most turbulent issues of our day? More broadly, what effect will these efforts have on the future of capitalism?
GES 2015: Financing Entrepreneurship
The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 25-26. The Summit was the sixth annual gathering of entrepreneurs at all stages of business development - business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials - demonstrating the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to fostering entrepreneurship around the world. During the summit Strive Masiyiwa participated in panel discussion on Financing Entrepreneurship
Moderator: Scott Nathan, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Wireless
- Loretta McCarthy, Managing Partner, Golden Seeds
- Julie Hanna, Executive Chair of the Board, Kiva
- Ashish Thakkar, Mara Group
Investing in Kenya's Renewable Energy
Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Founder and Chairman of the Econet Group, talks about investment opportunities in Kenya's energy projects. A group of investors that included Richard Branson (Founder, Virgin Group), Jacqueline Novogratz (founder and CEO, Acumen), Chris Anderson (curator, TED Conference) Dipender Saluja (Capricorn Investments), Steve Jurvetson (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Jean Oelwang (CEO, Virgin Unite), Bob Collymore (Safaricom) and Zia Khan of the Rockefeller Foundation, met with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi on July 10, 2015
African Business Magazine Interview Highlights
Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa talks to African Business editor Lanre Akinola about entrepreneurship, giving back and doing business with Sir Richard Branson.
Milken Global Conference (2015)
Around the World in 60 Minutes: Creating Global Prosperity
After more than 200 public and private sessions, the final panel of the 18th annual Milken Institute Global Conference is a spirited dialogue about creating global prosperity. In the United States, job creation and wages are key concerns, yet there's a growing mismatch between the supply and demand for skills. How can we resolve this? Across the pond, the future of the Eurozone itself is in question. Should Europe spend more on public investments and infrastructure, or is austerity the wiser course? Africa may be the growth story of the 21st century, but its challenges are significant and as varied as its 54 constituent nations. Political and military instability--coupled with drastic changes in global fossil fuel supplies--are roiling the Middle East. And what's become of the BRIC nations--Brazil, Russia, India and China? This quick trip around the world will deliver you back to Los Angeles wiser for the journey.
Milken Global Conference (2015) - The World in 2025
The world is changing fast. But in what direction? There are powerful trends we know about, but what are the realities we can't yet imagine? Technology is disrupting industries and connecting everyone on the planet. Emerging markets are flexing their economic muscle. Geopolitical struggles are posing new risks for governments and companies. How are these factors shaping the world we'll live in a decade hence? Don't make assumptions about the future until you've heard from our panel of experts, who have unique perspectives on where the world is headed. What kind of work will become obsolete, and what types of jobs will be created? How much progress can we make against disease, poverty and climate change, and how will that figure into the economic equation? How do leaders prepare for the future?
SoFI 2014 Session 6 (Keynote): Building a Client Base: The Econet Experience
How does a provider achieve widespread awareness and ubiquity of access to develop the long-term profitability of products?
Learn more as Strive Masiyiwa, deliver's the keynote address at the Mastercard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion (SoFI) 2014.
Bloomberg Interview on African mobile technology
On the sidelines of the the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, August 5, 2014, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, group chairman of Econet Wireless International, was interviewed by Jonathan Allen, Bloomberg Washington Bureau Chief, on how the Internet and mobile technology is helping connect African countries and overcome geographic barriers.
US-Africa Business Forum Panel on African Infrastructure
Mr Strive Masiyiwa, group chairman of Econet Wireless International, participates on a keynote panel on leading developments in African Infrastructure at the US-Africa Business Forum, co-hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Dept of Commerce, August 5, 2014. Other panelists included, Dr Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group; Susan Rice, Assistant to President and National Security Advisor; Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company; TshepoMahloele, CEO, Harith Fund Managers; GinniRometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM; and Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone.
Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman of Econet Wireless, with GinniRommetty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM, speaking at the US-Africa Business Forum.
Milken Global Conference - 2013
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 London - based Econet 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
TV & Media
Africa is not going to be left behind or outside the data revolution. Strive Masiyiwa sat down with CNN Marketplace Africa host Zain Asher to talk about investment in broadband infrastructure and the future of mobile technology.Learn More
Strive Masiyiwa was recently selected by Fortune Magazine as one of “the world’s 50 greatest leaders”.Learn More
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.Watch Video
CNN Marketplace Africa sits down with Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of Econet Wireless.Watch Video
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.Watch Video
Branson on Strive
“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.
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...”
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