Chairman and Founder, Econet Wireless Group
One of Africa’s most respected business leaders, Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group which comprises Cassava Technologies and Econet Wireless.
Born in Zimbabwe, he left the country in 2000, and is based in London. Masiyiwa serves on several international boards including Unilever Plc, Netflix, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Geographic Society, and the Global Advisory boards of Bank of America, the Council on Foreign Relations, Stanford University, the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, and the Prince of Wales Trust for Africa. Masiyiwa is the only African member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
Masiyiwa served on the African Union Reform Task Force led by President Kagame that led to the breakthrough of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and the creation of the SMART Africa, digital transformation initiative. Together with Melinda Gates and Hon Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia, he was co-chair of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission for Technology and Inclusive Development headquartered at Oxford University.
A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years as one of its longest serving board members, Masiyiwa is a co-founder, with Kofi Annan, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, of an initiative to help 400m African smallholder farmers, known as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa [AGRA]. He then became its second chairman after Kofi Annan, and since stepping down has continued to serve as Chairman Emeritus. He was honored for this work with the Norman Borlaug World Food Prize Medallion.
Masiyiwa is a co-founder with Richard Branson 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 served and on the jury of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize. At the invitation of the UN Secretary-General, Masiyiwa served on two UN Commissions: Financing Global Education Opportunities and Sustainable Energy for All.
Since 2013 Masiyiwa has devoted his time each week to mentoring the next generation of African entrepreneurs through his Facebook page with a followership of 5.8+ million. For several years, Facebook identified his platform as having the most engaged following of any business leader in the world.