Econet CEO Dr Douglas Mboweni graduated yesterday with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in Business Leadership from the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU).
Dr Mboweni was among thousands of graduates who were capped by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is Chancellor of the university, at a graduation ceremony in Harare.
A long-serving CEO and respected industry captain, Dr Mboweni was appointed Econet Wireless Zimbabwe boss in 2002, having joined the organisation in 1996. He is a holder of a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science Degree from the University of Zimbabwe (1986) and a Master of Business Leadership Degree from UNISA (2009).
Dr Mboweni is also a visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg since 2018.
Speaking soon after the graduation, Dr Mboweni — a born-again Christian — acknowledged the help of God and the support of his supervisors, family and colleagues.
“Firstly, I give all the glory to God, who gives us the wisdom and ability to apply knowledge, and who empowers us to make a difference as leaders in business and in our communities.
“I am grateful to my doctorate supervisors for their guidance, and of course to my family, in particular my wife, for her unwavering support over the years. Lastly, but not least, I want to acknowledge the support and goodwill I always receive from my work colleagues and board, and in particular the encouragement and inspiration I have enjoyed over the years and during the course of my studies, from my group chairman and founder of Econet, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, who in many ways is my role model in leadership” said Dr Mboweni.
In his doctorate thesis, Dr Mboweni proposes what he termed the Leadership-Driven Resilience Model (LDRM), which theoretically proffers possibilities for business leaders to develop sustainable coping strategies in response to extreme business operating environments.
Zimbabwe has gone through some challenging business operating cycles over the past 20 years. Since his appointment as CEO, Dr Mboweni — whose PhD thesis was entitled “Key leadership factors critical to sustainable business viability in volatile operating environments (A Case Study of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited (1998-2017)” — has overseen the phenomenal growth of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe through turbulent times.
He has won several business leadership accolades, among them the Manager of the Year Award from the Zimbabwe Institute of Management and Director of the Year Award from the Institute of Directors Zimbabwe(twice). Dr Mboweni, who strongly believes in equipping the next generation of leaders, is passionate about youth leadership development and runs various youth leadership programmes based on strong biblical values.