Philanthropy is not charity, philanthropy is about addressing
fundamental issues and looking for solutions"

Strive Masiyiwa


Philanthropy is a critical part of any democratic society hoping to tackle social problems and improve the wellbeing of people. However, philanthropy is much more than just giving away a certain amount of money; philanthropy is about fulfilling a purpose to improve the lives of people from disadvantaged and marginalized communities. For me, philanthropy provides an opportunity to express myself through giving, in the hope of making a long-lasting difference in people’s lives. However, I strongly believe that over and above individual philanthropy, private corporations have an integral philanthropic role to play by uplifting the communities in which they do business.


What excites me about philanthropy is the opportunity it provides to respond to a critical issue and give to those in need. What’s defines me as a philanthropist is the fulfillment I receive by arriving in a community, making an effort to see the way the community sees things, listening to how the community lives, and understanding the important issues that matter to them; this is what gives meaning to my passion for philanthropy.



This meaning is manifested through organisations such as the Higherlife Foundation, where we are determined to invest in the next generation of African leaders, by providing educational assistance to over 2 million scholars by 2020. As one of the founding members of the African Philanthropy Forum – a platform that brings like minded African philanthropists to collaborate and share best practices; we are working towards confronting the myriad of agricultural, climate, energy, governance, and urbanization challenges facing African people today.

This united approach towards philanthropy must also extend to private corporations; who should actively invest in strategic philanthropic activities that positively impact societies and tackle systemic problems with systemic solutions. At Econet, Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications provider, we have a corporate mandate through our Foundation to educate orphans, fight HIV/AIDS, provide platforms for entrepreneurial development, protect the environment, and much more. True philanthropy must include business, as they to can be forces of positive change in the communities in which they operate.


Tsitsi Masiyiwa’s work has been featured in a number of international blogs and publications.

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