The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has awarded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe a Lifetime Award in the ICT sector, in recognition of the investment the company has made into the country.
ZIA, the state agency responsible for facilitating investment into Zimbabwe, announced the award at its 2013 ZIA Investor Awards in Harare this week. According to ZIA, Econet deserved recognition for the significance of its investment, which has driven ICT access and usage in Zimbabwe.
Econet is estimated to have invested over $1.2-billion into the Zimbabwean economy since the country’s largest telecommunications company began operations 15 years ago. According to Econet, at least $1billion of that amount having been spent in the last five years alone.
As a result of Econet’s investment, Zimbabwe has moved rapidly from low penetration levels of below 15% in 2009 to one of the fastest growing telecoms markets in the world with a penetration rate of almost 100%.
Econet’s also says through its investment, more than 50 000 direct and indirect jobs had been created over the past five years, while more than 20 000 small businesses have been sustained by the company.
Econet CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni said Econet was humbled by ZIA’s recognition of the company’s commitment to Zimbabwe.
“The scale of the investment we have ploughed into the country is without precedent, and we are humbled to see the impact it has had on our country’s economy,” Mr Mboweni said. “The majority of Internet access in Zimbabwe is due to investment by Econet, and we are committed to further investment to ensure our market continues to grow.”
ZIA also recognised Econet’s investment in the community, granting the company a Corporate Social Responsibility award.
“It was noted that Econet Wireless has notable projects with widespread community benefits and sustainable development thrusts,” ZIA said.
Through its various trusts, Econet invests in the community by supporting public healthcare, providing scholarships to thousands of the country’s most gifted students, and also providing material and moral support to over 40 000 orphaned children.