Mark Suzman., the CEO of Gates Foundation in his inaugural foundation Annual Letter announced that the foundation has appointed a board of trustees, with Strive Masiyiwa,Mark Suzman, Minouche Shafik, and Tom Tierney joining co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates as members.
Masiyiwa an African billionaire from Zimbabwe is the founder and executive chair of Econet Global, a telecommunications company that operates across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Econet offers phone, broadband and satellite service, and is also a major provider of mobile payments, a focus of the Gates Foundation’s work in Africa expanding financial services for the poor.
Masiyiwa said in the statement that he’s worked with the foundation for 20 years, “beginning with efforts to improve agricultural production for more than 400-million smallholder farmers in Africa, to improving livelihoods for the poorest people across Africa and the world.”
“Masiyiwa, who Forbes estimates is worth $2.6 billion, sat on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years. He and his wife, Tsitsi, founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho. His fortune mostly comes from EcoNet Wireless, the Zimbabwe telecom firm he founded in 1998. Masiyiwa was also recently appointed to Netflix’s board of directors and has signed the Giving Pledge.”