11-member team appointed to Safaricom Ethiopia’s Executive Committee

Days after announcing that it had embarked on a nationwide staff recruitment drive to take care of its operations,  Safaricom Ethiopia has now named a new team as part of its Executive Committee (ExCo) to steer the telco’s operations in the Horn of Africa nation.

Recently, a high-powered delegation, led by Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa and Safaricom Ethiopia’s MD Anwar Soussa, held discussions with senior government officials in Ethiopia – including Finance Minister Ahmed Shide – to update the government on the status of the new operation.

(TOP: Peter Ndegwa, the Safaricom CEO- centre -, poses for a photo working towards the commercial launch of Safaricom Ethiopia. Photo: Addis Fortune).

The ExCo team is comprised 11 staff members who will report to the telco’s MD, Anwar Soussa. Glaringly, almost all the executives are foreigners, except for one Ethiopian. That is Andarge Kabtimer who has been named as the telco’s Chief Sales & Distribution Officer, joining the team from Diageo where he was the Commercial Operations and Sales Transformation Manager.

Close to 40 job openings were announced by Safaricom Ethiopia as part of the staff recruitment drive.

The ExCo team has individuals drawn from various jurisdictions and regions where the Consortium members – that is Sumitomo Corporation (Japan), Safaricom (Kenya), Vodafone (UK), and Vodacom (Africa) – have operations.

Below are the newly-appointed members of Safaricom Ethiopia’s ExCo team (as reported by Shega):

  1. Masahiro Miyashita (Chief Strategy Officer): Miyashita, a Japanese national, brings on board vast experience in telecoms industry having worked for Sumitomo Corporation for over 30 years, where he is currently the GM of the Smart Communication Platform Business Division. He also sits on the board of multiple telecom companies in various countries such as Myanmar, Guam (USA), Uzbekistan, Russia, China and Japan to supervise management and strategy.
  2. Pedro Rabacal (Chief Technology Officer): Rabacal has been with Vodacom Group for 22 years, spending his last seven years as the and has been the CTO for Vodacom Mozambique. Prior to joining the Mozambique leadership team, Pedro led several key portfolios within Vodacom South Africa as well as Vodacom Group that pushed forward technology evolution from the early years of GPRS, on to 3G, 4G and recently the first deployment of 5G in Mozambique. Before joining Vodacom, he was the Regional CTO for the South African Telecommunications Regulator.
  3. Charles Wanjohi (Chief Consumer Business Officer): Wanjohi, a professional with over 19 year’s commercial experience gained working for Multinationals focused on sub-Saharan Africa, carries a broad international perspective having worked in Kenya, South Africa, Bahrain, and experience working with 17 geographies across Sub Saharan Africa. He has built a telco career spanning more than 15 years across Celtel Kenya, Zain Kenya, Zain Group, Airtel Africa, Airtel Kenya and Safaricom, where he was the Director of Consumer Business. He has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, is a Certified Public Accountant and is an alumnus of the Vodafone Inspire Leadership program.
  4. Chris Lazarus (Chief Enterprise Business Officer): Lazarus is currently the Managing Executive for KwaZulu Natal Region, Chris has been part of Vodacom South Africa since 2005, where he has held various roles within the Consumer and Enterprise Business Units. He brings onboard over two decades of experience in the Information and Communications Technology and Financial Services sectors. He has an MBA from Henley Business School (UK), Advanced Executive Programme with the University of South Africa and Telecoms Certification from the North-West University (South Africa).
  5. Paul Kavavu (Chief Financial Services Officer): Currently the Head of M-PESA new Business Ventures at Safaricom, Kavavu has 19 years of progressive experience in mobile money innovation, strategy formulation and execution, performance change management and negotiation across financial services, telecom, and banking industries. He joined Safaricom in 2002 from Absa Bank, formerly Barclays Bank of Kenya. Paul holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Nairobi, is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya, CPA (K) and Certified Oxford Fintech Program alumni.
  6. Andarge Kabtimer (Chief Sales and Distribution Officer): He has been appointed as the Chief Sales and Distribution Officer. Andarge brings on board over 20 years’ experience in various sectors in Ethiopia including FMCG, oil & gas and financial institutions having worked with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Shell, and Diageo in different senior roles. He joins the telco from Diageo – Meta Abo Brewery, where he was the Commercial Operations and Sales Transformation Manager and a member of the Company’s Leadership Team. Andarge holds a Degree in Accounting from Addis Ababa University and master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Indra Ghandi National Open University, India.
  7. Stanley Njoroge (Chief Finance Officer): He has been appointed as the Chief Finance Officer. He joins the team from Guinness Nigeria where he was the Finance & Strategy Director and a member of the Board. He has been in Diageo for over 13 years where he held various senior roles in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Prior to Diageo, he spent eight years in Deloitte in tax consultancy in Kenya and Ethiopia and has also worked at Barclays Bank Kenya as Head of Business Performance Analytics & Tax. He is a graduate of University of Nairobi and a qualified accountant.
  8. Mokaya Mokaya (Chief Human Resource Officer): Mokaya has been appointed as the Chief Human Resource Officer. Currently the Head HR Business Partner for the Customer Organisation at Safaricom, he brings on board over 16 years progressive experience in Talent Management, Capability Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Change Management and HR Business Partnership. He joined Safaricom in 2007 in the HR function where he worked in different roles, including a 2-year stint in Vodafone India as the head of Organizational Effectiveness & Change. Mokaya holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Nairobi. He is a member of the Institute of Human Resource management and an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified coach.
  9. Julie Arndt (Chief Legal and Risk Officer): Julie has been appointed as the Chief Legal and Risk Officer. Currently, she heads the Legal Compliance Reviews and ISO Audit Assurance functions within the Vodacom Group Risk and Compliance team. She has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry within senior leadership, ranging from employment and legal compliance to overall organisation legislation compliance and audits, money laundering and financial crime management. Julie joined Vodacom in 2006 and has held various roles across the organisation including in group compliance, legal and human resources. She completed her BA LLB degree at the University of KZN and her LLM degree at the University of South Africa. Julie is also a Certified Quality Auditor with the American Society for Quality and a certified coach with the NeuroLeadership Institute.
  10. Matthew Harrison-Harvey (Chief Regulatory and External Affairs Officer): Matthew has been appointed as the Chief Regulatory and External Affairs Officer. Matthew, a UK national, has held several senior legal, regulatory, and external affairs roles within the Vodafone Group over the last 20 years. These include: Legal, Regulatory, and External Affairs Director at Vodafone Qatar between 2008 and 2012; Managing Executive responsible for legal and regulatory affairs for Vodacom Group’s international operations in sub-Saharan Africa between 2013 and 2018; and Vodafone Group External Affairs Head of Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific Affairs and Relations since 2018, where he was instrumental in the development of Vodafone’s Africa Digital Social Contract and the successful license bid in Ethiopia.
  11. Koichi Kawase (Director, Project Management Office): Kawase has been appointed as the Director, Project Management Office. Kawase has spent close to 30 years in Sumitomo Corporation taking on increasingly larger and varied management roles, from Chief Strategy Officer to Chief Executive Officer and Chief Commercial Officer in the largest telecommunication operators in Mongolia and Myanmar, both affiliated companies of Sumitomo. He has also led Digital and Fintech investment projects in Malaysia and Myanmar, and in his most recent assignment, was a Board member of the largest mobile distributor in Japan, and Executive VP and Board member of a device lifecycle management start-up company.

The Global Partnership for Ethiopia, the consortium which operates the Safaricom Ethiopia brand, plans to launch commercial operations in the first half of 2022.


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