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Econet Wireless Predicts Zimbabwe Will Be Africa’s First Cashless Society

Source: The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

Will Zimbabwe be Africa’s first cashless society? Telecommunications company, and now mobile-banking service, Econet Wireless, predicts that in less than 12 months notes and coins will be long-gone from this southern African country.

“We do not expect anyone to still be using paper money in a year’s time,” the company’s CEO Douglas Mboweni recently said. “It will be just like Europe or America, where you no longer see people carrying bundles of cash.”

The collapse in Zimbabwe’s economy in 2002 paved the way for the Econet Wireless mobile payment system.

“Hyperinflation had destroyed people’s confidence in financial institutions,” said the Zimbabwe company’s founder, Strive Masiyiwa, at the Mastercard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion in July.

“The lowest denomination circulating was $1,” Masiyiwa said. “If you want to buy a packet of sweets for your child, you can’t get change.” The company set up a mobile payment system that handles small amounts and allows people to save as little as $1.

“Today 43 percent of the GDP moves through Econet Wireless,” he concludes.

Masiyiwa was born in Zimbabawe (then Rhodesia) in 1961. He and his parents fled the country in the turmoil after then-Prime Minister Ian Smith declared independence in 1965, settling in Zambia.

His parents, who ran their own business, could afford to send Masiyiwa to school in Scotland when he was 12. After school, he studied electronic engineering at the University of Wales and worked briefly for a computer company in Cambridge before returning to Zimbabwe in the early 1980s.

Econet Wireless was established in 1998, but not before a fight.

Masiyiwa waged a five-year legal battle with the government for a license to deliver telephone services. The company now operates in 17 countries including Botswana, Lesotho, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and New Zealand. In 2000, while the U.N. filed a civil suit against Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe, Masiyiwa moved his family and company headquarters to South Africa.


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4 thoughts on “Econet Wireless Predicts Zimbabwe Will Be Africa’s First Cashless Society

  1. l ddnt know Econet headquarters is now in South Africa

  2. Rory Grieve says:

    They are correct, it already is a cashless society look around Zimbabweans are SKINT there is NOTHING and certainly NO money because their beloved politicians have defrauded it all in the process of ruining the economy and crippling farming production secretly sending all their stolen money to Switzerland and then told the ordinary black citizens to blame "Rhodes, Smith, Van Riebeeck etc". If ignorance is bliss, it must be a happy place to be though, right?

  3. Rory Grieve says:

    Unworthy of any journalistic merit whatsoever, the man is an old bigot., meanwhile, here on earth, the Imperial Colonisation of Rhodesia and South Africa by Charter (the nowadays Zimbabwe and RSA) began in the 1880's-90's You would have to be 110 years old today AT LEAST, otherwise, how would any living white be a founder, aka "settler"? Those people are born there they are not European (sorry for you) like any other person there of their generation and age today, regardless of skin colour they are African. Zimbabweans and South Africans feudally occupied their tribal land that's how they got it in the first place- same as the white people did later on. There are no original white settlers left to persecute in any case and haven't been for years, decades more like. You are persecuting people for the crimes of others who came before them- you must be so proud. The "settlers" have all died of war and old age, literally. Africa, for centuries before white people even knew it was there, was and clearly still is very much a feudal continent as documented in history, ie they like to fight and go to war, ultimately to take stuff and claim stuff from one another that is not theirs to take (usually the purpose of war). How else did the Bantu tribe claim superiority inland over the minority tribes and the Zulu their claim on the coast? They went, they saw, they fought hard and 'stole' and claimed for their own. That is a fact. What was Imperialism? No different, People coming, fighting, claiming and taking for their own. The difference is, the Empire basically ended up giving it back. You like to base events on skin colour rather than action, only because it is convenient to your lies and hate. Anyway, yes the empire(s) took a lot in terms of commodities and natural resources, really alot BUT they also brought schools, education, writing, christianity, technology, agriculture and stock farming, roads, science, mechanisation and so on. They also created the world markets today where tea and coffee are some of the highest priced commodities and they come from africa, india and south america….. to the white devils….. who pay dearly for them so they created YOUR trade and commerce you take for granted, the fact you never see prosperity even though all the money is made is somewhat disturbing to us is it not to you? Was value paid in the early days, who the hell really knows eh, no one alive today anyway, probably not quite but the addition of those advances mentioned above are immeasurable for the advancement of any and all races and societies yet they are completely disregarded for the purposes of rational thinking here apparently.. People only like to focus on what was taken, not what was left behind or given- that is on top of what was IN FACT paid for- even though it was almost always won outright in a war and no money was payable. The colonials did not have to give them anything, not a thing, yet they did. Did the Zulu and Bantu go around giving stuff back afterwards and being all nice and neighbourly? WELL? No, the surely darn did not- no surprises. So basically this is a "blacks" only game (well was a blacks only game, the days of that kind of migration are long over) according to you and we are the bad ones? Meanwhile go to Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand and even more outlandish places like China haha> you find african/black people who have moved to other peoples countries and homes and "taken jobs" and all that you complain about….. yet those societies adapt and EVOLVE. Why is it that Africa must be the only country to expect reward for nothing AND refusing to participate and co-inhabit? Your friends, relatives and ex country men, all black, all living all over the world peacefully with others and yet you still go on and on like this blaming dead people and harassing their descendants whilst reaping the benefits of what is there. Your problem is that you are so indoctrinated in hate against "whites" that your beloved south africa is going to look like decimated Zimbabwe next door soon. You are distracted by your lying government, they tell you they will "give you that whites land" but believe you me they cannot…. for he paid for his land to the state (all transaction like that originate back to the state for the big farms you want so badly) and got his TITLE DEED. Now, the land is worthless to you because you have no title, and rightly so. If you want the title, you can buy the farm or your leaders can buy the farm for you- I am sure the farmer will be very happy to leave you to ruin the land and go off to a better place. Money was paid for it, "The State" does not change just because the faces in parliament go from white to black it is still "The State" and fully documented as always. So, when as you like to think that is, you threw the whites out, they actually just left and that's it they had enough of the hate (not the politicians, the citizens, the ones that kept the economy and finances growing so well, workers, like you, just white). If you want farms, buy them back. Money was paid in the beginning by private individuals and "The State" can now deal with your 'claims'. As for what's next? You full well know your government lie to you and tell you to "blame apartheid" for your problems and like a brain damaged child you keep smashing your head against that apartheid rock/wall. You need to stop fighting amongst yourselves and make those greedy thieving politicians of yours accountable. That country, that land that BOTH black and white died for in the HUNREDS OF THOUSANDS, where you stand now> is a mess, you ONLY have yourselves to blame because you are too busy squabbling like petty children. It used to be the land of hope and proimse, rich beyond all imagination and with unlimited potential, the envy of every king and queen in Europe and LOOK WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Shame on you all.

  4. if Strive made, I will also make it with my business.Hands up for Strive Masiyiwa.

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