Econet Group keyboard_arrow_down


Afreximbank honours Masiyiwa, African businesses

21 June 2023

Zimbabwe businessman, and founder of Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa is one of the business leaders honoured at the inaugural Pan-African Business and Development Awards held on Monday at the 30th African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meetings in Accra, Ghana.

The awards were instituted by the bank in association with the Business Council for Africa,  to recognise those organisations and leaders that epitomise the Pan-African spirit by leading the way in building substantive and transformational cross-border businesses within the African business and finance sectors.

Mr Masiyiwa, alongside Togolese Koffi Gervais Djondo, received special recognition awards for their outstanding contribution to the transformation of African business and industry.

According to the organisers, Mr Masiyiwa was recognised for founding Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a telecoms firm which has the largest network of fibre optic cables on the continent, and Cassava Technologies as well as Econet, the largest telecoms and mobile payment operator in Zimbabwe.

Mr Djondo helped found Ecobank, the leading African group in terms of footprint, as well as regional airline Asky.

Nigeria’s business mogul, Aliko Dangote, was awarded the Afreximbank Founder of the Year in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in building one of Africa’s leading industrial groups with a truly pan-African footprint.

This comes on the back of the recent official opening of his US$19 billion petrochemicals plant and Africa’s largest refinery, where Afreximbank is the biggest financier.

The Pan-African Business of the Year Award went to Ethiopian Airlines which has had phenomenal success and showcases the best of Africa: a profitable and well-run airline that rose up to the challenge of Covid, working alongside Afreximbank and the Africa CDC to distribute critical medical equipment and vaccines across the continent.

Telecoms operator MTN and Egyptian business ElSewedy were also given Special Recognition in this category. MTN was recognised for transforming the African telecoms sector and ElSewedy for its role in the African infrastructure sector.

ElSewedy and Afreximbank have built a strong relationship that has seen its group become a true continental champion and part of a consortium of African banks and private sector companies that are building the multi-billion dollar Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project in Tanzania.

Three banks were recognised in the Financial Institutions of the Year category. National Bank of Egypt, First Bank of Nigeria and Coris Bank, an important regional player in West Africa that started off in Burkina Faso, were chosen based on the volume of trade finance facilities they have utilised.

Eight recognition awards were also handed to some staff members of Afreximbank to acknowledge their long service at the bank, including Prof. Benedict Oramah, who has been with the bank for over 29 years.

Commenting on the Awards ceremony, he said: “Tonight we are recognising so many outstanding leaders. Having joined the Bank in 1994, I have been fortunate to have worked with so many of them, and to have seen them grow. We have supported them during this journey and they have helped make the Bank what it is today.

“These are the mutually beneficial partnerships that will help transform the continent we so love.

“At Afreximbank, contributing to Africa’s development is a lifetime vocation, as I know it is for all those that we have recognised tonight.”

In recognising the business leaders and institutions, Mr Ekpe said: “Too often our business leaders do not get the praise they deserve. Succeeding in business on the continent is not always easy, but it is rewarding and more importantly it is possible to build strong, profitable businesses that are globally competitive. Our winners tonight have demonstrated this.”