Strive Masiyiwa (left) and Minouche Shafik (Courtesy of
Strive Masiyiwa (left) and Minouche Shafik (Courtesy of

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced recently that Strive Masiyiwa and Minouche Shafik have joined its board of trustees.

Masiyiwa, a London-based Zimbabwean billionaire, is chairman and founder of Econet Global, a Johannesburg-based telecommunications group that has operations and investments throughout the globe.

“Over the past 20 years I have worked with the Gates Foundation, beginning with efforts to improve agricultural production for more than 400 million smallholder farmers in Africa, to livelihoods for the poorest people across Africa and the world,” Masiyiwa said. “We have worked together to address global health crisis like the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics. I am honored to join the co-chairs and the incredible team at the foundation in fighting disease and poverty throughout the world.”

Shafik, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, also expressed her delight about being tapped for the board.

“I look forward to working with my fellow board members to support its mission of advancing human flourishing,” said Shafik, who is of Egyptian descent. “I’ve long admired the foundation for standing for those values across borders and all parts of society. The pandemic, climate change, and other crisis have shown its work to be more relevant and necessary than ever. I will dedicate my service as a board member to upholding those collaborative values within an organization that exists to enable everyone to live a healthy and productive life.”

In addition to Masiyiwa and Shafik, American business executive Thomas J. Tierney also was selected to the board, the foundation said in its inaugural annual newsletter.

Co-founded in 2000 by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and then-wife Melinda, the foundation was reportedly the second-largest charitable foundation in the world by 2020 with $49.8 billion in assets. The Gates serve as co-chairs of the foundation with Steve Suzman as its CEO.

Board members serve three-year terms with no more than two terms consecutively.

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