Netflix Inc. appoints Zimbabwean billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa to board as part of Africa growth push.
Streaming giants Netflix Inc. have named Strive Masiyiwa to its board of directors as it looks to new markets for future growth.
Strive Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of the international technology group Econet Global, a telecommunications company that operates across continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The company offers phone, broadband and satellite services as well provides mobile payments.
Masiyiwa brings to the board a fresh set of connections and experience as the first African to join Netflix’s board in recent years. His appointment majorly is to help the giant streaming company fully tap into African space as they look to expand.
Netflix Targeting Africa and Asia
Currently, Netflix now has more than 190 million subscribers and is looking for new territories beyond the U.S. and Europe for its next batch of customers. Asia accounted for the most new subscribers last quarter.
As per now, Africa holds a small market for paid streaming video. In a continent of more than a billion people, Netflix has just a couple million subscribed customers. This is according to research conducted by Digital TV Research. The company has long argued that it is working towards adding customers from Asia and Africa.
Toward that end, Netflix has started offering cheaper, mobile-only plans and has commissioned a slate of original series and movies. To support this, the company has started offering cheaper and mobile-only plans for series and movies.
Strive Masiyiwa is one of Africa’s richest businessmen and philanthropist. In 2015, Forbes Magazine named him in the 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa list for that year. Earlier this month, he was named among Africa’s most influential people of 2020 by the New African Magazine.
“We are delighted to welcome Strive to the Netflix board. His entrepreneurship and vision in building businesses across Africa and beyond will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to improve and serve more members all around the world,” Co-Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in a statement.
By Masiyiwa joining the board, it ensures that Netflix will still have at least one Black director. Susan Rice- Netflix’s first Black board member, is leaving to join the presidential administration of Joe Biden in 2021.