Zimbabwean businessman and telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa has been named the first black billionaire in the UK.
According to The Sunday Times Rich List, Masiyiwa has become the first black billionaire to break into with his wealth estimated to be £1.087 billion.
Strive is the founder and chairman of Econet Group, a telecommunications and technology group with operations and investments in 29 countries in Africa and Europe.
Masiyiwa also owns just over half of South Africa based private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa.
But the Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon, who lives in London, may be too busy to notice his elevation into the ranks of Britain’s super-rich. He is currently trying to fix one of the planet’s most pressing problems: finding enough vaccines for Africa’s 1.3 billion-strong population.
Masiyiwa, 60, a father of six who also serves on the boards of Netflix and Unilever, is the African Union’s special envoy on the pandemic and recently signed a deal with Johnson & Johnson for 400 million vaccine doses.
Few black entrepreneurs have broken into The Sunday Times Rich List over its 33-year history. Those who have made it into this newspaper’s wealth rankings in recent years include Mo Ibrahim, 75, who also made his fortune in the telecoms world, and Sir Damon Buffini, 58, who co-founded the private equity house Permira.