by Duchess Magazine
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Zimbabwe’s Richest Man – Strive Masiyiwa: Empowering Africa’s Vulnerable Children Through Education And Creating Opportunities For The Youth

A quick search on goggle and you find tons of information on Strive Masiyiwa, billionaire telecom mogul Zimbabwe’s richest man – UK’s first black billionaire and one of Africa’s boasting of an intimidating net worth of $2.7 billion. The 61-year-old is the founder and executive chairman of the international technology group Econet Global.

But, alongside his grand achievements in the industry, and beyond, you will also find Masiyiwa’s far-reaching noble impact in Zimbabwe, and across Africa, driving one of Africa’s most impactful foundations – The Higherlife Foundation which has steadily since inception in 1996 provided education to over 250, 000 vulnerable and orphaned African children via funding academic initiatives such as libraries and resource centers and sponsoring scholarships.

Although as expected for a man of status with an income that affords him the luxury of the finest things, he does own an expanse of multi-billion dollar properties spread across different countries and a luxurious jet, with assets including stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho, and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa, but, he is quite simple at heart, and pours a huge part of his earnings into philanthropy, powering educational initiatives and sponsoring students at universities in America, the United Kingdom, and China.

Today the foundation’s reach encompasses healthcare, medical assistance, poverty alleviation and  empowering rural economies, with footprint in Lesotho, Burundi, Rwanda, Swaziland, South Africa, and Kenya

Born in Southern Rhodesia, contemporary Zimbabwe, on 29 January 1961, his family later relocated to Zambia, at age 12 he attended a private school in Edinburgh, Scotland. Strive later went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wales in 1983, proceeding briefly to work in the computer industry in Cambridge, England, but soon returned home to Zimbabwe in 1984, hoping to aid the country’s recovery following the end of the Rhodesian Bush War and universal franchise elections in 1980.

Masiyiwa is also a member of the Bill Gates and Warren Buffett initiative known as the Giving Pledge and also sits on the board of Netflix.

In May 2020, Masiyiwa was appointed by South African President and African Union Chair Cyril Ramaphosa to serve as a Special Envoy to the African Union for COVID response. He led a similar private sector initiative to fight Ebola in West Africa in 2014-2015.

Earlier this year, Strive Masiyiwa, has stepped down from the position of Chairman and Director after 29 years helming its affairs, retaining his more than 50% stake in the company he listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 1998.

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