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South Africa's Vodacom taps Safaricom's Steve Chege for top job

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Safaricom chief corporate affairs officer Stephen Chege. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Vodacom Group has tapped Safaricom's chief corporate affairs officer Stephen Chege as its group chief external affairs officer.
  • The announcement was made by Safaricom chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa in a memo to Safaricom staff seen by the Business Daily.

Vodacom Group has tapped Safaricom's #ticker:SCOM chief corporate affairs officer Stephen Chege as its group chief external affairs officer.

The announcement was made by Safaricom chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa in a memo to Safaricom staff seen by the Business Daily.

"Steve will take up the role at Vodacom headquarters in Johannesburg and will be responsible for group regulatory, external and corporate affairs, public policy, communication strategy, media relationships, group corporate social investment and sustainability," said Mr Ndegwa in the internal announcement.

Mr Chege's appointment will take effect mid next month. He will report to the chief executive of Vodacom Group Shameel Joosub.

Mr Chege, a University of Nairobi trained lawyer, has risen through the ranks at Safaricom to his current position which he held since 2015 having joined Safaricom as in-house counsel in 2006.

"He has had a distinguished and successful career guiding Safaricom's position in legal, competition, regulatory and reputational matters, developing industry policy, positioning Safaricom as a purpose led organisation and making a significant contribution to the success of Safaricom," said Mr Ndegwa.

Vodacom, a South African operator owns 35 percent of Safaricom.

Safaricom and Vodacom in 2019 formed a joint venture with Vodacom and acquired the intellectual property rights to M-Pesa from Britain's Vodafone.

Apart from developing new products based on the M-Pesa platform, Safaricom and Vodacom also want to launch into other African markets.

M-Pesa is currently offered by Vodacom majority-owned subsidiaries in Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Vodacom also owns an indirect stake in M-Pesa’s business in Kenya through its 35 percent stake in Safaricom.

Vodafone holds a 5 percent stake in Safaricom.

Vodacom has a market capitalisation of about Sh1.8 trillion, slightly ahead of Safaricom’s Sh1.5 trillion.