how to build a multi billion dollar business in africa from scratch
“There is a man in this room, you have been having these dreams…. in these dreams, and you are building towers, rather like broadcasting towers…everywhere, all over the world. God is asking me to tell you, that He is the one giving you those dreams, and He is going to make it happen. He has also given you a new heart; you are going to have such compassion. Please come forward, if you are that man.”
Strive Masiyiwa is the chairman and founder of Econet, a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific.
His business interests also include renewable energy, water treatment, Coca Cola bottling, financial services and hospitality.
Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College and the Hilton Foundation’s Humanitarian Prize Jury. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education.
Masiyiwa currently co-chairs the AU/WEF platform for investment in African agriculture, known as Grow Africa, and recently took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa.
In 2014, the Chair of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asked Masiyiwa to help mobilise resources for Africa’s response to the EBOLA outbreak. This was the first time the AU had asked a business leader to undertake such a role. Masiyiwa, with the help of other leaders, set up the first ever Pan African fund raising campaign known as the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Fund.
Masiywa is a well know international business leader who has over the years won international recognition and numerous awards for business excellence. In 2014 Masiyiwa was selected by CNN Fortune Magazine as one of “the world’s 50 greatest leaders”. Forbes Magazine named Masiyiwa in the “10 Most Powerful Men in Africa” list for 2015.
As a philanthropist, Strive Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi Masiyiwa, are members of the Giving Pledge and finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans.