ZIMBABWEAN businessman and philanthropist, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, has been named by Bloomberg among the top 50 prominent figures that have changed the global business in 2020.
The annual Bloomberg 50 recognises people who are doing notable things and the 2020 list is made up of individuals who set the bar high in business, entertainment, finance, politics, and science and technology whose accomplishments merit acknowledgment.
Labelling Mr Masiyiwa, who is also the Econet founder, as Zimbabwe’s “messenger of hope”, Bloomberg noted how the businessman’s Higher Life Foundation paid $10 million in cash and other assistance to more than 1 700 health-care workers to urge them not to strike over erosion of wages.
The country had been battling inflation in the first half of the year due to exchange rate volatility.
The Government had to respond by establishing an auction forex trading market, which has brought stability.
“Mr Masiyiwa, a billionaire who’s originally from outside of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, paid monthly stipends from ZW$5 000 to ZW$10 000 ($62 to $124) to health-care workers to stay on the job.
“When Covid-19 hit, he offered an additional ZW$500 a day for anyone hospitalised by the virus and ZW$50 000 for permanent disability or death. His programme ran through July,” wrote Bloomberg.
Mr Masiyiwa’s telecommunications company operates in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Through EcoCash, Econet has become a champion of mobile money transactions, which have become popular in the wake of cash shortages and Covid-19 restrictions.
“Mr Masiyiwa sees his donations as giving back to his home country, even though he lives in self-imposed exile, mostly in Johannesburg and London,” wrote Bloomberg.