Econet founder Masiyiwa drops from Africa’s top 50 richest list


Strive Masiyiwa

ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe, founder and owner Strive Masiyiwa, has dropped out of the Forbes Africa’s 50 Richest this year on the back of declining revenues in the public listed company.

According to the latest issue of Forbes Africa, Masiyiwa, the owner of the largest mobile telecom company in Zimbabwe, was one of seven millionaires from Africa from last year’s list who failed to make the cut this year.

“Masiyiwa is the controlling shareholder of publicly listed mobile telecom company Econet Wireless Zimbabwe,” Forbes magazine says.

“The share price fell more than 63% in value since last year on the back of declining revenues and new taxes imposed on the company.

“That in turn lowered Masiyiwa’s fortune. Econet has been laying off workers and in June reportedly cut the salaries of workers by 35%.

“But for Masiyiwa, a devout Christian, redemption may be coming soon: he plans to list his Liquid Telecoms, a UK-based broadband group with operations across Africa, on a European stock exchange in a move that could significantly boost his fortune.”

This year, the minimum net worth needed to make the Forbes List of Africa’s Richest was $3330 million, down from $510 for the 2014 list.

Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote remained on top of the list for the fifth year running, but is reported to have lost almost $5 billion on his current net worth of $16.7 billion due negative share price movements.

Dangote was recently in Zimbabwe where he met President Robert Mugabe with the intention of establishing investing in the country.

The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) says it has issued the Dangote Group with licences for three projects worth $1.2 billion.

The projects include a cement manufacturing plant, a coal mining venture and an energy plant.

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