Strive Masiyiwa: Founder of Econet Wireless

He wanted to join the freedom fighters, but they told him to stick to engineering. It was good advice

As a student finishing high school in Scotland in 1978, Strive Masiyiwa was more concerned with liberating his native Zimbabwe than memorizing the monarchs of Britain. But when he traveled to Africa to join the freedom fighters, "one of the senior officers told me, 'Look, we're about to win anyway, and what we really need is people like you to help rebuild the country,'" Masiyiwa recalls. He returned to Britain to study engineering, and 24 years later leads a new African revolution--in telecommunications.

Sub-Saharan Africa has just one phone line for every 70 people, in contrast to almost one per person...

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