Zimbabwean Telecoms Mogul Strive Masiyiwa Becomes The First Black Billionaire In The UK. Zimbabwean-born telecoms mogul Strive Masiyiwa has been named the first black billionaire in the UK. Masiyiwa, chairman and founder of Econet Group, a telecommunications and technology group with operations and investments in 29 countries in Africa and Europe, appeared on the Sunday Times UK Rich List over the weekend.
According to IT Web, the rich list is based on the newspaper’s estimates of the minimum wealth of Britain’s 250 richest people or families, and this year’s list identifies a record 171 UK billionaires. Masiyiwa’s wealth is estimated to be £1.087 billion, which elevated him into the ranks of Britain’s super-rich.
He has gained international recognition for his business expertise and philanthropy, and is considered one of Africa’s most generous humanitarians. Masiyiwa has provided scholarships to more than 250,000 young Africans over the past 20 years through his family foundation. He supports more than 40,000 orphans with educational initiatives and sponsors students at universities in America, The United Kingdom, and China.
Econet Global (Econet) is a privately held international technology group with business operations and investments in more than 20 countries in Africa, Latin America, The United Kingdom, Europe, China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and New Zealand. Two listed entities are its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Econet Wireless (1998) and Cassava Fintech (2018). The Zimbabwean business is often mistaken as the holding company, because it is listed. Strive Masiyiwa owns over 50% of publicly traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
Masiyiwa also has interests in the United States of America (USA). He has partnered with one of America’s leading telecoms entrepreneurs, John Stanton, in a venture called Trilogy International Partners, which built New Zealand’s third mobile network operator known as “2 Degrees”. Masiyiwa’s investment in Seattle based Trilogy International, have also helped him secure interests as an investor in Viva’s Bolivia and Dominican Republic businesses. Masiyiwa also has a controlling interest in a company based in Vermont USA that manufacturers nano fibre carbon products, called Seldon Technologies. One of Masiyiwa’s most successful ventures is the London-based privately held Liquid Telecom Group (now Liquid Intelligent Technologies) Africa’s largest satellite and fibre optic business spanning over 14 countries.