Safaricom appoints middle level managers for Ethiopia subsidiary


Safaricom Limited's headquarters on April 24, 2017. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The Safaricom-led consortium has appointed eight middle-level managers for its Ethiopia operation as it seeks to build a pool of staff ahead of commercial operations next year.

The new senior managers who have been tapped for new top roles are mainly drawn from Safaricom #ticker:SCOM , Vodacom, Vodafone and Sumitomo Corporation which jointly own the Safaricom Ethiopia consortium.

They include Makena Caroline who is the new legal and regulatory sub-lead, Karimi Ruria as head of regulatory and public policy and Jacquiline Materu as head of public relations and communications. Ms Ruria was formerly a senior manager in charge of public policy at Safaricom.

Ms Materu formerly worked as the head of PR and communication at Vodacom Tanzania while Ms Makena formerly worked as a digital manager, self-service channels at Safaricom in Nairobi.

Other managers appointed include former Sumitomo Corporation executive Ippei Mitsui (legal and regulatory lead), former Henieken executive Dagmawe Shewangzaw (regulatory and policy manager), former Vodacom executive Mpoi Nkhasi (regulatory and policy manager), former Diageo Ethiopia executive Sisay Zerihun (head of external affairs), and Tewedaj Eshetu (PR and communications manager).

The latest hires by Safaricom which recently revealed its plans to lease and occupy an office building by the start of next year in Addis Ababa as a base for its Ethiopia operations, are the latest indication the telco remains bullish on its expansion plans despite the ongoing conflict that has threatened to disrupt its operations in the country.

Safaricom last month evacuated some of its employees from Ethiopia because of armed conflict and civil unrest as a raging conflict between the government of Ethiopia and forces in its northern Tigray region threw the country into turmoil and threatened to disrupt the firm’s operations in the populous nation.

The Safaricom consortium, which also includes British development finance agency CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, won the licence with a bid of $850 million (Sh91.75 billion) and aims to start operations in Ethiopia next year.

It plans to launch commercial operations by mid-next year.

The war is threatening the stability of Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country seen by Kenyan major companies, including Safaricom, as a promising frontier for investment.

The conflict has kept investors on edge, even as it triggered a hunger crisis, leaving millions of people in need of humanitarian aid.

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