Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless Global Ltd., speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills , California, U.S., on Monday, May 2, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Few people have shaped modern Africa as much as Masiyiwa, whose telecommunications firm, Econet, came into being in 1998 after a long legal battle with the Zimbabwe government. His victory busted up a state monopoly and helped spur the development of private telecoms across the continent. Masiyiwa has since relocated to London, but his energetic and well-rounded philanthropy still makes an impact in Africa; he chairs numerous boards and has been lauded for supporting orphans, funding scholarships, and fighting hunger, poverty, and Ebola.

 

“Strive Masiyiwa’s life and his business story is impressive, but it is his lifelong commitment to helping others that set him apart…He is a crusader who has transformed countless sectors and lives while also seeking to preserve Africa’s vital resources through his own sustainable investments and environmental policy leadership…I am inspired by his vision, his persistence, and his fearless spirit.” —Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society