Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa picked up two prestigious awards in New York this week in recognition of his philanthropic work.
On Tuesday, he was honoured by the United Nations Foundation for co-ordinating African business support for efforts in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The function was attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations and dozens of other leading UN officials, philanthropists from around the world and heads of diplomatic missions.
Masiyiwa was honoured for responding to the AU’s call for African businesses to act on any African situation threatening to get out of hand and engulf the entire region.
The Econet boss swung into action after receiving an SOS call from the Chair of African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Zuma had already gathered hundreds of African medical volunteers who were prepared to risk their lives by going to the three countries and serve.
However, as usual, the AU had no capacity to provide logistics and the finances required for the operation.
According to the citation, Masiyiwa organised for business colleagues to contribute and maintain the AU team in the three countries helping to contain the situation.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who handed the trophy to Masiyiwa, paid tribute to the Zimbabwean entrepreneur and said he was a true African.
Anan said although Masiyiwa had made it in life he still thought about the under-privileged and gave his all in helping others.
The next day, Masiyiwa was again making his way to the podium at a massive function to receive The Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) which is caters for millions of refugees worldwide.
The IRC is a humanitarian organisation which also provides health care to the poor and is present in more than 100 countries, including Zimbabwe.
Its workers are drawn from across the globe and they operate in such places as Syria, Afghanistan and Central African Republic, DR Congo and Vietnam.
The Freedom Award citation said Masiyiwa has, over the past 20 years, provided scholarships to more than 100,000 young Africans to study abroad and at home through his family foundation. (Another foundation, run on a full time basis by his wife, Tsitsi, caters for more than 40,000 HIV/AIDS orphans)Advertisement