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2024 Gates Foundation Annual Letter: Philanthropy’s Opportunity

Together, we go further


Tsitsi Masiyiwa at Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped, which educates, rehabilitates and equips physically handicapped children in Kampala, Uganda.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa at Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped, which educates, rehabilitates and equips physically handicapped children in Kampala, Uganda.
Photo by Tatenda Mapigoti



For Tsitsi Masiyiwa, giving is about “a love for humanity.” 

The Zimbabwe-born social entrepreneur became a philanthropist after witnessing the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on her community. After her aunt lost eight children to the disease, Masiyiwa was compelled to act. For her, that meant giving: first through the Higherlife Foundation, and later through Delta Philanthropies, both co-founded with her husband, Strive Masiyiwa. (Strive is a member of the Gates Foundation’s board of trustees).


Tsitsi Masiyiwa with the alumni of Star Leadership Academy, a leadership program aimed at academically gifted African students in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa with the alumni of Star Leadership Academy, a leadership program aimed at academically gifted African students in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Photo by Stabile Mpengesi



The Masiyiwas realized that aligning their investments with government priorities and policies would amplify their impact. This approach has led to increased scholarships for students, better-equipped and trained farmers in rural areas for sustainable food production, and reduced rates of cholera and neglected tropical diseases in communities.

Gender inequality widens existing gaps across all these issues and more, so Masiyiwa looked for opportunities to combine forces with other philanthropists to improve the futures of women and girls. In 2022, she launched the Africa Gender Initiative to raise $50 million from African philanthropists for gender equality.

Today, she is chair of two donor collaboratives: END Fund, which is dedicated to ending neglected tropical diseases, and Co-Impact, a collaborative that brings funders and nonprofits together to amplify their collective work, including on gender equality. 

“The solutions to our problems don’t lie with a single philanthropist or organization,” Masiyiwa says. “But if we pull our resources together with a common agenda, we are able to make a bigger impact than we could alone.” 


“If we pull our resources together with a common agenda, we are able to make a bigger impact than we could alone.”

Tsitsi Masiyiwa