Econet’s Mboweni wins top award

ECONET Wireless chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni has become the second executive in the company’s history to win the coveted Manager of the Year Award.



f”>He was recognised as Zimbabwe’s top manager for 2004 by the Zimbabwe Institute of Management (Zim).


Mboweni was awarded the floating trophy at a gala dinner held in Harare last Friday. The award is in recognition of his leadership and management success that has transformed Econet into one of Zimbabwe’s largest listed companies.


He described the award as God’s grace and favour — a personal honour and recognition of the teamwork that has made Econet a major corporate player in the economic development of Zimbabwe.


“I thank God Almighty for the inspiration and favour he continues to give us. I am elated and honoured to receive this award which is recognition by our peers in the management profession of the way my management team, together with all staff at Econet, have and continue to contribute to make Econet a household name in Zimbabwe,” Mboweni said.


Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa was named Zim Manager of the Year for 1998 in similar recognition of his success in launching the Econet mobile phone network that year after a protracted legal battle to break a government monopoly.


The company listed on the local bourse in September the same year, barely three months after the mobile operator commenced operations.


In selecting nominees Zim considers, among other things, the professional and career profile, strategic business focus, social responsibilities and contribution to the management profession in Zimbabwe of the nominee.


Mboweni was a key member of the team that launched Econet’s pioneer mobile operation, Mascom Wireless network in Botswana, before being appointed to various senior executive management positions at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.


He was seconded as one of the key executives to establish and launch Econet Wireless Nigeria. Following the successful launch of EWN, Mboweni was appointed chief executive officer of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in March 2002.


He holds a BSc in mathematics and computer science degree from the University of Zimbabwe and joined Econet (Pvt) Ltd in 1996 after six years as a senior systems analyst at Chemplex Corporation.


He is also currently studying for a Masters degree in Business Leadership with the University of South Africa. The local cellular service operator has enjoyed phenomenal growth since he assumed the position of CEO.


In the citation at the gala, the nominations committee highlighted the performance of the company which achieved revenue growth of $200 billion in 2004 from $25 billion in 2003.


The Econet subscriber base has risen from 139 400 in 2002 to more than 244 430 at December 2004, to maintain the cellular service provider leadership position in the mobile market.


Currently, Econet is undertaking a $200 billion network expansion which will grow its subscriber base to 500 000 by year-end. The mobile cellular firm has grown to become one of the top five telecom operators in Africa with operations in Africa, Europe and the East Asia Pacific Rim. — Staff Writer.

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