Zimbabwe has gotten its first official billionaire recognised by Forbes, with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion. Strive Masiyiwa is a telecoms mogul who founded Econet Wireless Group in 1998, which has operations in Africa, Europe, South America and is still expanding.
He studied for an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wales in the early 80’s and returned to Zimbabwe in 1984. He initially began working to acquire set up Econet in 1993 but faced major challenges from the Robert Mugabe-led administration but managed to get the mobile operation licence in 1998.
Apart from being at the helm of Econet Wireless Group, he is also a board member of The Rockefeller Foundation, and a generous philanthropist who along with his wife Tsitsi provide scholarships to over 4000 disadvantaged orphans in Burundi, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.