Tawanda Musarurwa Senior Reporter
Founder of the Econet Group and billionaire Mr Strive Masiyiwa has been appointed to the board of trustees of the National Geographic Society.
The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC.
The announcement of his selection was made by Mr Jean Case, chairman of the Society’s board of trustees, and Ms Tracy R Wolstencroft, the organisation’s president and chief executive officer.
“We are delighted to welcome Strive to the National Geographic Society board of trustees,” said Mr Case. “An impact-driven non-profit like the Society requires leadership that reflects the complex interdependent world in which we live.
“With his significant international business, entrepreneurial and philanthropic experience, Strive will provide the global perspective and expertise we need to achieve our mission.”
Mr Masiyiwa’s Econet Group is a telecommunications, media and technology company with operations and investments in 29 countries.
Mr Masiyiwa currently serves on the board of Unilever, the transnational consumer goods company, as well as the global advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University.
In 2013, the United Nations and the World Bank named him to the advisory board of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
In addition, he is a trustee of the Asia Society; a member of the Committee on Conscience of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum; and was part of the Founders Circle of the Carbon War Room, an initiative created by Sir Richard Branson to promote market-based, low-carbon energy solutions to combat climate change.
Mr Masiyiwa has also built a legacy of extensive philanthropic work across Africa. He is chairman of the board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which is working to improve food security and income levels for 30 million farming households by 2021.
Committed to the next generation of African entrepreneurs, Mr Masiyiwa mentors young people from across the continent on his Facebook page, reaching out to more than 3,5 million followers. He and his wife, Tsitsi, also founded the Higher Life Foundation, which has supported the education of more than 250 000 orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa over the past two decades.
“Strive’s profound knowledge of Africa will be extremely valuable as we partner with local scientists, conservation professionals and government officials to safeguard some of the earth’s last wild places such as Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, the sub-Saharan Okavango River Basin and Benin’s Pendjari National Park,” said Ms Wolstencroft.
“As the National Geographic Society looks toward helping to conserve 30 percent of the planet by 2030, Strive’s insights will be critical to our success.”
By signing the Giving Pledge, Mr Masiyiwa and his wife have publicly declared that they will donate at least half of their assets to charitable causes.
In recognition of the global reach of Masiyiwa’s work, Fortune magazine named him to its list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2014 and 2017.
Source : The Herald