CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

1 April 2014

Africa: Econet Wireless Founder Named Among CNN's "50 Greatest Leaders"

Photo: Edgar Mwakaba/IRIN
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Econet Wireless founder and Group Chairman, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, has been named among Fortune Magazine's 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders'.

Mr Masiyiwa, who sits on the Africa Progress Panel as well as the boards of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and the Rockefeller Foundation, is described by CNN's Fortune Magazine as a persuasive advocate for development opportunities and the creation of strong government institutions.

Masiyiwa first came to international prominence when he fought a landmark constitutional legal battle for 5 years in the African country of Zimbabwe. The ruling which led to the removal of the monopoly of the state in telecommunications is generally regarded as one of the key milestones, in opening the African telecommunications sector to private capital.

His flagship business, South African based Econet Wireless is now a global telecommunications group with operations, investments and offices in more than 15 countries (in Africa, Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific).

The company's activities include mobile cellular telephony, fixed networks, enterprise networks, fibre optic cables, and satellite services. They also provide payment solutions to banks across Africa.

Beyond telecoms, Strive Masiyiwa's business activities include operations and investments in some of Africa's leading businesses in financial services, insurance, renewable energy, bottling for Coca-Cola, hotel and safari lodges. The Econet Group is also exploring several opportunities in targeted African other international emerging markets.

"He is truly one of Africa's most influential figures, with his good counsel sought by world leaders and CEOs," says Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin, who calls him "a champion for the power of technology to improve the lives of millions."

Also named among the global leaders from the tech arena is Kenya's Juliana Rotich, the executive director of Ushahidi.

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