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Biography of Strive MASIYIWA

Zimbabwe > Business : Strive MASIYIWA

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Biography :

Trive Masiyiwa (b. in 1961), is a publisher of Zimbabwe's Daily News, a paper critical of President Robert Mugabe, and the CEO of telecommunications group Econet Wireless International. He is a Zimbabwean national who lives in South Africa.

Strive Masiyiwa certainly has an eye for a good deal. The electrical engineer who founded the Econet Wireless Group has made his name and money on a knack for a smart move and a quick decision.

He is probably best known as a kind of African David, a CEO who fought off the Goliath of government monopoly repression to take the mobile phone revolution to Zimbabwe in 1998. Since then he has expanded into or bid for telcos in Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, Malawi, Burundi and Lesotho as well as taking on ventures in the UK and New Zealand. In 2002, he was crowned one of Time’s Global Influentials - one of 15 selected in a global poll from a list of more than 100 - for his potential as well as achievements as an entrepreneur.
Strive Masiyiwa was born in what was Southern Rhodesia in 1961. He went to High school in Scotland; he gained a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Cum Laude) at the University of Wales, returning to newly independent Zimbabwe in 1984, where he took a job with the state-owned telephone company. But he grew frustrated with the bureaucracy and formed his own engineering company. He applied for the country's first mobile-phone license yet had to fight all the way to the supreme court before he could connect his first subscribers in 1998. Southern Rhodesia was the name given to the British colony situated immediately to the north of South Africa, known today as Zimbabwe. ...

His privately held company, Econet Wireless, generates revenue of more than $300 million a year, making it one of Africa's five largest telecom companies. Econet's operation includes cellular and fixed-line businesses in Zimbabwe, Malta, Lesotho and Botswana. It owns the leading VSAT business in Morocco and an Internet video and audio streaming business servicing 60 radio stations in the United States and Africa. The company also owns a 3G license in Australia. In New Zealand Econet will soon launch that country's third GSM network; and Britain, where Masiyiwa is targeting the niche market of African expatriates. Not to be confused with Get Some Mates The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. ...

He was also the publisher of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, shut down by the government in late 2003. In 2002 he was named to Time Magazine's Global Business Influentials List.He is also known as the Bill Gates of Arica, on account of his business and entrepreneurial savvy. He is a workaholic who has bucket loads of guts and passion to achieve his goals notwithstanding anything standing in his way

He was also the publisher of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent newspaper, shut down by the government in late 2003. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

In 2002 he was named to Time Magazine's Global Business Influential. Masiyiwa became a role model for other young African entrepreneurs through his vision and persistence. He won numerous national and international honors, including a place on Time magazine's list of the world's most promising young executives in 2002. Masiyiwa attributed his success in part to the ethical integrity he developed through the devotional practice of reading the Bible for an hour every morning. He served on the boards of such international development agencies as the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation. He and his wife Tsitsi also founded and funded a charitable trust that had provided scholarships for more than five thousand AIDS orphans as of 2003.

Strive resides in Johannesburg with his wife and children. 


Last update : 09/10/2008

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