The Zim dollar wiped out half of Strive Masiyiwa’s net worth in 2019. Zimbabweans Think Strive Masiyiwa Owns The InternetMasiyiwa, the country’s only billionaire, built a fortune primarily in telecom. Zimbabwe’s decision in June 2019 to ban all foreign currencies and to use only the Zimbabwean dollar, however, accelerated inflation, causing the value of the newly established dollar to fall.
Strive owns large stakes in two companies that trade on Zimbabwe’s stock exchange, which are Econet and Cassava Smartech.
Masiyiwa’s fortune has fallen to $1.1 billion, down from $2.3 billion a year ago, making him the biggest loser in percentage terms among Africa’s 20 billionaires.
Zimbabwe is reeling under economic hardships characterized by hyperinflation, low salaries, excessive power cuts, dire shortage of maize meal and low production of virtually everything among a plethora of other economic problems that have pushed citizens and businesses to the edge.
The southern African nation features among the worst economic performers, coming only second to Venezuela whose economy is envisaged to contract by 20,5%. Its gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to contract -12,9%, according to the Economist Intelligence’s latest report.
Altogether the continent’s billionaires are worth a combined $73.4 billion, up from $68.7 billion a year ago, mostly due to higher stock prices. Of these tycoons, eight saw their fortunes rise or fall by at least $700 million. For the ninth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the richest person in Africa, worth an estimated $10.1 billion, down from $10.3 billion a year ago amid a slightly lower stock price for his Dangote Cement, his largest holding.
Of Africa’s 54 nations, only 8 countries have billionaires: Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two. Forbes found one billionaire each from Algeria, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.