Great African: Strive Masiyiwa

Ever heard the name Strive Masiyiwa? The AYC is proud to celebrate him as her first Great African.

Strive Masiyiwa is an African, Entrepreneur, Businessman and Philanthropist from Zimbabwe. Born on the 29th of January 1961 in his home country, Strive attended primary school in Zambia before completing his secondary education in Scotland. He studied Electrical Engineering and obtained a degree from the University of Wales.

He is the founder and executive chairman of the diversified Econet wireless. After being away from Zimbabwe for seventeen years, Strive returned and worked briefly as a Telecom Engineer for the state owned telephone company. One of Masiyiwa’s most successful ventures is the London-based privately held Liquid Telecom Group , Africa’s largest satellite and fibre optic business spanning over 14 countries. Other activities of Econet include enterprise networks, financial services, renewable energy, and solar-powered solutions (Solarway Industries).

Strive has influence both in Africa and beyond. He serves on the boards of some global organisations, including The Rockefeller Foundation , US Council on Foreign Relations International Advisory Board, the Asia Society , the Africa Progress Panel (APP), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), The Micronutrient Initiative of Canada, Grow Africa, The African Union ‘s (AU) EBOLA Fund, Morehouse College Board, and The Pan African Strategic Institute. Masiyiwa also sits on two United Nations Advisory Panels and is the only African member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.

An active philanthropist, Strive supports a diverse range of health issues including campaigns against HIV/AIDS, Cervical Cancer, malnutrition, and more recently EBOLA. He is an avid environmentalist and together with Sir Richard Branson founded the environmental group, the Carbon War Room. He took over, from former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the chairmanship of AGRA, an organisation that supports Africa’s smallholder farmers. He is also co-Chair of Grow Africa, the investment forum for Africa’s agriculture, which has helped mobilise over US $15 billion in investments for African agriculture. His family foundations support and educate more than 40,000 children. Masiyiwa is also a member of the Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, initiative known as the Giving Pledge.

Strive has received multiple honours and awards for excellence in business and humanitarian services. He is married to Tsitsi Masiyiwa and they have six children.

Reference: Wikipedia


Strive Masiyiwa Speaks on the Need for Education

Why we must sign this petition on Education!

When I was seventeen years old I was traveling between the Zambian city of Lusaka and Kitwe on the Copperbelt, by bus.

As we travelled out of the city it became very clear that the country was on high alert as there were military checkpoints everywhere. About 100km into our journey and after numerous checkpoints some young soldiers refused to accept my ID documents, at one of them. I was the only foreigner on the bus and they thought they had found an enemy soldier in civilian clothes.

The soldiers immediately handcuffed me and told the bus to go without me. It was in the middle of nowhere and it was late in the day. They were totally agitated and threatened to shoot me!

I was in big trouble.

When they learned I could speak the local language they became even more agitated, accusing me of being a spy.

After I had been held there for several hours, surrounded by screaming soldiers, a senior military officer driving a jeep came along and asked what was happening.

He looked at my papers and ordered my immediate release. He then drove me personally to my destination some 300km away!

When we got there, he said something I will never forget:

__”The reason I drove you all the way is because it was my only way of ensuring that you would not be killed at one of these roadblocks. We are at war with the guys next door (Rhodesia) and our soldiers are very nervous at the moment. Unfortunately, some of them cannot read. We have to ensure that in future everyone in the army can read properly.”

Years later when I saw child soldiers being recruited in Liberia and the DRC, I always remembered that harrowing experience. I imagined the terror of being confronted with uneducated kids with guns who cannot recognise a simple passport. Many people probably lost their lives as a result on incidents similar to mine.

Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other militant groups are all able to thrive when the educational systems don’t exist to provide proper education.

There is really little we can do to develop our nations if we do not tackle education first. There is little we can do to ensure our security if we do not tackle education first.

Education is the key.

up for school

Please sign this petition. Go now to and sign.

The Petition: “We, the world’s youth, teachers, parents and global citizens appeal to our governments to keep their promise, made at the United Nations in 2000, to ensure all out-of-school children gain their right to education before the end of 2015. We are standing up to bring an end to the barriers preventing girls and boys from going to school, including forced work and early marriage, conflict and attacks on schools, exploitation and discrimination. All children deserve the opportunity to learn and achieve their potential. We are ‪#‎UpForSchool‬.”

Signing will only take you a minute. Sharing with your friends will take even less time. We are really close to the 10m target.

The End.

Source: Strive Masiyiwa’s Official Facebook Page.