One of the pioneers of the mobile telecoms industry in Africa, Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group which comprises Cassava Technologies and Econet Wireless.
In 1993 Mr Masiyiwa founded Econet Wireless, the mobile telephone networks and mobile money business of Econet Group, with operations in Botswana, Burundi, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe.
Headquartered in London, Mr Masiyiwa later founded and serves as Executive Chairman of Cassava Technologies, Africa’s leading technology company of continental scale.
More than 20 years ago Mr Masiyiwa had a vision to create an entire ecosystem of digital solutions to connect people and businesses across the continent. Cassava Technologies now encompasses Africa’s largest open access cross-border fibre broadband network spanning over 100,000km (60,000+ miles), Africa’s largest network of interconnected carrier neutral data centres, solar renewable energy, cloud and cybersecurity, fintech, and on-demand digital platforms.
Born in Zimbabwe, Mr Masiyiwa left in 2000 and is now based in London. He currently serves on several international boards including Unilever Plc, Netflix Inc., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Geographic Society, and the Global Advisory councils of Bank of America, and Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Mr Masiyiwa is the only African member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
In June 2020 Mr Masiyiwa was appointed by the African Union as a Special Envoy for Covid-19 where for almost two years he coordinated the acquisition of medical supplies and vaccines for Africa. Mr Masiyiwa now serves as a Special Advisor to African Presidents on the US/Africa Leadership Summit initiative on Food Security.
A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, Mr Masiyiwa is a co-founder with Kofi Annan, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, of an initiative to help 400m African smallholder farmers, known as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. He then became its second chairman after Mr Annan, and since stepping down continues to serve as Chairman Emeritus. He was honored for this work with the Norman Borlaug World Food Prize Medallion. He is also co-founder of the Generation Africa initiative to support and grow young African entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector.
Mr Masiyiwa served on the African Union Reform Task Force that led to the breakthrough of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the creation of the SMART Africa digital transformation initiative. He also served as co-chair of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission for Technology and Inclusive Development, headquartered at University of Oxford (UK).
Mr Masiyiwa is a co-founder with Richard Branson and others of the Carbon War Room and the B-Team. He is a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. He previously chaired the Micronutrient Initiative of Canada and served on the jury of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize. At the invitation of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Masiyiwa served on two UN Commissions: Financing Global Education Opportunities and Sustainable Energy for All.
From 2013, Mr Masiyiwa devoted time each week to mentoring the next generation of African entrepreneurs through his Facebook page with a followership of 5.7m+. For several years, his platform was identified by Facebook as having the most engaged following of any business leader in the world: https://www.facebook.com/strivemasiyiwa
In 1996 Mr Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and later Delta Philanthropies whose primary focus is social impact investment in human capital to build thriving individuals and communities. The family’s social impact investments in Africa include the critical sectors of education; health; rural transformation and sustainable livelihoods; and disaster relief and preparedness, with a focus on communities, women, and children. They are signatories of the Giving Pledge.
In April 2023, Mr Masiyiwa was elected an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
An honorary fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, Masiyiwa has received honorary doctorates from Morehouse College, Yale University, Nelson Mandela University, and University of Cardiff where he received a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.