Strive Masiyiwa (born 29 January 1961) is a London-based Zimbabwean billionaire businessman and philanthropist.

He is the founder and executive chairman of the international technology group Econet Global.

He attended primary school in Zambia before completing his secondary education in Scotland.

When he was seven, his family fled the country after Ian Smith’s government declared independence from Britain.

The family settled in Kitwe, a city in north central Zambia known for its copper mines. Masiyiwa’s mother was an entrepreneur. By the time Masiyiwa was 12 years old, his parents could afford to provide him with a coveted European education.

They sent him to private school in Edinburgh, Scotland. When he graduated in 1978, he travelled back to Zimbabwe, intending to join the anti-government guerrilla forces there.

However, he returned to school in Britain, and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Wales in 1983. He worked briefly in the computer industry in Cambridge, England, but soon returned to Zimbabwe in 1984, hoping to aid the country’s recovery after the war of independence it had won in 1980.

He is married to Tsitsi, they have six children, and live in London, England.

Masiyiwa joined the Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (ZPTC), the state-owned telephone company, as a senior engineer. ZPTC quickly promoted him to the position of principal engineer.

Masiyiwa became frustrated with the government bureaucracy, however, and left ZPTC in 1988 to start an electrical contracting firm named Retrofit Engineering. He was chosen as Zimbabwe’s youngest-ever Businessman of the Year in 1990.

Masiyiwa recognized the great potential for wireless telephones in sub-Saharan Africa because the region had only two fixed-line telephones for every hundred people in the 1990s.

He sold Retrofit Engineering in 1994 and started to finance Econet Wireless through his family company, TS Masiyiwa Holdings (TSMH).

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.