May 9, 2021

Econet Group Founder Strive Masiyiwa Appointed to Netflix Board of Directors

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa
Businessman Strive Masiyiwa

Zimbabwean billionaire and founder of Econet telecommunication network Strive Masiyiwa have taken a board seat at Netflix. The appointment disclosure was made in a public release published by Netflix.

The management at Netflix including, Netflix co-founder, Chairman, and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, expressed optimism over Strives appointment. They believed in his goal and experience in driving innovation in Africa and beyond.

“We are delighted to welcome Strive to the Netflix board,” said Netflix co-founder, Chairman, and co-CEO Reed Hastings. “His entrepreneurship and vision in building businesses across Africa and beyond will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to improve and serve more members all around the world.”

Strive Masiyiwa serves on several international boards: Unilever Plc, National Geographic Society, Asia Society, and the Global Advisory boards of Bank of America, the Council on Foreign Relations (in the US), Stanford University, and the Prince of Wales Trust for Africa, and is a longstanding board member of the United States Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Conscience. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and African Union Special Envoy to the continent COVID response. He is also a former board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years.

“Netflix is at the forefront of bringing great entertainment from anywhere in the world to everyone in the world, and I look forward to working with the board and all stakeholders to continue its traditions of innovation and growth,” Masiyiwa said in the statement.

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

The appointment of Masiyiwa, whose company owns a controlling stake of telecommunication in 29 countries (both in Africa and Europe), is at par with Netflix’s stated ambition to get more subscribers on the continent, where video streaming is still rare due to slow internet speeds. Econet once operated in Kenya under the Yu network, and Liquid Telecom is still quite functional in the country and Africa.

Netflix is heavily investing in Africa and has made efforts to extend its footprint on the continent and produce more original content. Hence, Mr. Masiyiwa’s appointment will contribute to more subscription and growth to Africa.

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