Strive Masiyiwa appointed to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation board

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Strive Masiyiwa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Econet Group, DPA, Liquid Telecom, Econet Wireless

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has appointed a board of trustees, with Strive Masiyiwa, Baroness Nemat (Minouche) Shafik, Thomas J. Tierney, and Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman joining co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates as members. The board members will work alongside Gates and French Gates, bringing independent and diverse perspectives to help strengthen the foundation’s governance. 

Suzman announced the board members in the foundation’s inaugural annual letter. The letter highlights the foundation’s efforts to fight poverty and disease; its goal of creating a better, fairer world; and its commitment to listening to diverse perspectives and deepening engagement with partners and communities where its work is focused. 

The board announcement comes at a time of unprecedented global challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, halted, and even reversed hard-won gains in global health and development around the world. After nearly two decades of steady progress, tens of millions of people have been thrown back into poverty, childhood vaccination rates have dropped, and diseases from malaria to tuberculosis have resurged. Since January 2020, the Gates Foundation has committed more than $2 billion to the global COVID-19 response, with a focus on making sure support reaches marginalized communities as quickly and effectively as possible. The pandemic has had devastating impacts on these communities, and it will take many years for them to recover. 

This governance change comes after the death in late 2020 of Bill Gates Sr., Bill Gates’ father, an honorary co-chair, and a long-time guiding voice at the foundation, as well as the decision by WarrenBuffett last year to step down as a trustee after nearly 15 years. It also represents an explicit recognition by Gates and French Gates, especially in the wake of their recent divorce, that the foundation will be well served by the addition of independent voices to help shape its work in the future. The board could include up to nine total members, with conversations ongoing about adding to the initial slate to enhance representation across gender, geography, and expertise. 

“We are honored that these three deeply knowledgeable and respected individuals have agreed to join the foundation board. Between them, they bring an incredible track record of impact across global business, philanthropy, and development, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with them.” 

Mark Suzman

In addition to introducing the new board members, Suzman discusses the foundation’s efforts to maximize its impact while ensuring that its work is increasingly inclusive. That includes deepening engagement with developing country agencies and governments, establishing offices and growing its staff outside of the United States, and expanding grants to institutions closer to affected communities. He also emphasizes that in its next phase, the foundation will continue to prioritize areas where its resources and expertise will be most catalytic and to invest in higher-risk areas where it’s more difficult to deploy public resources, from funding innovative treatments for malaria to supporting cutting-edge disease modeling. 

“Our new board members are strong, qualified leaders who will support the foundation and its partners in our work to promote a healthier, safer, more equal world for all. I am deeply proud of all that we have accomplished over the past two decades and energized to work with them to drive progress on some of the most important issues the world faces today,”

Melinda French Gates

Suzman and Connie Collingsworth, the foundation’s chief operating officer and chief legal officer, led the work to strengthen the foundation’s governance at Gates’ and French Gates’ request, conducting a strategic review in consultation with external experts on best governance practices. The new board members will bring their diverse expertise, experience, and perspective to advise the co-chairs and the foundation’s leadership team on budget and strategy. The board will meet three times a year to guide the work of the foundation and approve the annual budget and four-year plan. They will also have the responsibility to review the CEO’s performance and approve the CEO’s compensation. Board members serve three-year terms, with a two-consecutive-term limit. 

“Over the past 20 years, the scale and scope of our foundation’s work has evolved to include some of the most complex and urgent challenges the world faces, As we look ahead, I’m excited to welcome our new board members. Their wide-ranging experience and expertise will have enormous impact on our ability to tackle the complexity of these challenges and bring us closer to realizing a world where everyone has the chance to lead a healthy and productive life.” 

Bill Gates

Since its establishment 21 years ago, the foundation has provided more than $60 billion in grants, with the annual payout regularly increasing year over year. With a more than $50 billion endowment; Gates and French Gates’ additional commitment of $15 billion last year; the pledges by Gates, French Gates, and Buffett to devote the bulk of their remaining resources to the foundation; and the requirement to spend down the endowment after the co-founders’ deaths, the foundation is uniquely positioned to continue its work of fighting poverty, disease, and inequity in the United States and around the world, while maintaining a major role in the field of philanthropy for decades to come. 

“Over the last 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 improving livelihoods for the poorest people across Africa and the world. We have worked together to address global health crises like the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics. I am honoured to join the co-chairs and the incredible team at the foundation in fighting disease and poverty throughout the world.” 

Strive Masiyiwa, chairman and founder of Econet Group on Gates Board Appointment

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  1. B
    1. Grigori Rasputin

      You are the most foolish person I have ever heard of. We have no time for trolls like you. We want progress in the world. It doesn’t matter which religion anyone follows or doesn’t follow. You could be a Buddha, Jew, Hindu, N’anga or Muslim. We just don’t want radical people who label others or have hatred towards someone else with a different opinion

  2. The Last Don

    A prophet has no honour is his own land for real. We shun our own because of political differences yet those from yonder acknowledge their good deeds and great work.

  3. Todozvireva

    Working in a slaughter house of the unborn. Advancing the depopulation agenda. Is that your step up Masiyiwa? I hope your role is to reverse all that.

    1. Munhu anotaura shuwa

      He is helping people around the world. Giving kids scholarships. Apa iwe uri busy kuwawata. Zibenzii!

      1. Samaita

        Nothing like “helping” in business. Philanthropy is a business! They trace those “helped” to come back and work for Econet, generating millions! Companies do Philanthropy to improve their image and generate more revenue and profit! Changamuka iwe.

        At personal level, yes we can say the person given the scholarship was “helped”.
        All the same, well done Zimbabweans together with Manyika at Google.

        1. Panther

          Who cares if a company gets more profit? What matters is if someone is helped or not. A lot of people are getting helped around the world. Uridofo. Don’t try to be intelligent in a simple situation

  4. Anonymous

    He has shown how to become rich but no medical ethics children with disabilities in Zimbabwe needing outside Zimbabwe operations are not helped and girl child with disabilities not helped shame on these rich directors of companies in Zimbabwe. Mr. I. H. Petker Is not scared to tell the truth so help me god. God as Zimbabwe. There are over ten
    Palate patients needing assistance but they are busy filling their pockets.

  5. Suu whoop

    Shhhhhh Keep quiet ZANUPF especially when approaching Elections will never allow any suspicious compaign strategies which are out of ZANUPF . They always tell philanthropists to stop helping the need for exmple Makandiwa was given a warning towards that.

  6. Captain

    The bible describes it like this, ” having eyes but not seeing …” These so called philanthropist are taking advantage of your desperation pushing the agenda of the anti christ. I am grateful that the bible told us that upon this rock (Peter) I will build my church and the Gates( Bill Gates) of hell shall never prevail..Masiyiwa has just been given a chair in the devil’s boardroom nothing to be happy about nothing to celebrate. Ask Pastor Chris Oyakhilome or even Uerbert Angel they will tell you what exactly the demon called Bill Gates is …

  7. Mr Realtalk

    Kurwadziwa nemari dzevanhu. Siyai vanhu vaite zvavanoda chibaba. Manzwa nekunamatira generational wealth apa i can bet kuti all you have or are still managing to do is to race for the rivhes. Mdhara kana mava ne wealth chingozivai kuti mabvi akasvuukira zviripo, for now work on proving Mwari wenyu kuti you deserve it and hamusi mhata inorwadziwa nemakomborero evamwe. Keep away from judging for that is not what God (in Christianity that is) wants you to do. Unfortunately he also says kuti man was created in the image of God saka kamweya ke judging ako katori muropa mubhonzo muskeletal menyu futi hahaha anyway shanda hama shanda, pamwe unopedza nhamo yemadzinzawo(not directly yours alone you rack bastard)

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