Zimbabwe’s wealthiest individual, Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of the telecom giant Econet, has experienced a significant dip of $1.2 billion in his net worth over just 12 months.
As of 2022, Strive Masiyiwa, the 62-year-old former Chairman of Econet, boasted a net worth of $3 billion. However, recent data from the Forbes billionaire index reveals that his fortunes have plummeted to an estimated $1.8 billion by 2023, marking a staggering $1.2 billion reduction.
Masiyiwa’s wealth is primarily linked to his ownership stakes in Econet Wireless and other ventures, including Netflix.
The primary reasons for this sharp decline can be attributed to the falling share prices of his publicly traded enterprises, notably Econet Zimbabwe and EcoCash Holdings.
Additionally, the depreciation of the Zimbabwean currency has further impacted Masiyiwa’s net worth.
For instance, in 2022, the Zimbabwean dollar witnessed a colossal 76.74% devaluation, according to CNBC reports by April 2023, the currency depreciated by over 70% within a single week, reaching a rate of above USD/ZWL$2000. The official foreign currency auction market, managed by the reserve bank, pegs the Zimbabwe dollar at USD/ZWL$5593.
Masiyiwa’s substantial wealth includes a 52.85% stake in Econet Zimbabwe, the nation’s largest telecom services provider, and a 30% stake in EcoCash Holdings, a diverse smart technology group focused on digital and financial technologies, promoting economic empowerment and financial inclusion.
At the beginning of the year, Forbes estimated Masiyiwa’s fortune at US$1.2 billion. However, thanks to the robust performance of his wide-ranging assets managed through Econet Global, his net worth has rebounded to US$1.8 billion.
What you should know
Strive Masiyiwa, a first emerged as Zimbabwe’s first billionaire at 56 years old, at the time he ranked as the 14th richest person in Africa, with a net worth of $1.7 billion according to Forbes.
Born in Zimbabwe, Masiyiwa relocated to the UK during his childhood but returned in 1984, and ventured into the telecom industry. In 1993 he established Econet.
Masiyiwa holds just over half of Liquid Telecom, a private company providing fibre optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa.
His diversified portfolio includes investments in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho, as well as ventures in fintech and power distribution firms across Africa.
Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi co-founded the Higherlife Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting orphaned and underprivileged children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi, and Lesotho.
He possesses prominent properties in New York, including two adjacent apartments in the 29-story Eldorado Towers, purchased for $24.5 million, which have previously been inhabited by celebrities such as Michael J. Fox, Moby, and Alec Baldwin.
Additionally, he owns a £24 million mansion with 24 rooms, including nine ensuite bathrooms, as reported by Dailymail.