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Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC ( Safaricom Ethiopia) has announced last week a countrywide staff recruitment drive and introduced its leadership team as it affirmed its commitment to investing in Ethiopia’s digital future ahead of its commercial launch.

Below are the members of the Safaricom Ethiopia Executive Committee (EXCO) and they will be reporting directly to Anwar Soussa, the Managing Director who also was appointed in July 2021. Anwar Soussa was previously the  Managing Director of Vodacom DRC and the Chairperson of Vodacash (M-PESA) a position he has held since 2017. Before that, he was CEO of Airtel Rwanda and Chada while also worked in MTN.

The Executive team is composed of individuals from various and they are mainly drawn from the Consortium partners including Sumitomo Corporation, Safaricom, Vodafone, and Vodacom. One Ethiopian National, Andarge Kabtimer, has also joined the Executive team as Chief Sales and Distribution Officer from Diageo where he was the Commercial Operations and Sales Transformation Manager.

Chief Strategy Officer

Masahiro Miyashita has been appointed as the Chief Strategy Officer. Miyashita, a Japanese national, brings on board vast experience in telecommunication having worked for Sumitomo Corporation for over 30 years, where he is currently the General Manager 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.

Chief Technology Officer

Pedro Rabacal has been appointed as the Chief Technology Officer. He 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, Pedro was the Regional CTO for the South African Telecommunications Regulator.

Chief Consumer Business Officer

Charles Wanjohi has been appointed as the Chief Consumer Business Officer. A professional with over 19 year’s commercial experience gained working for Multinationals focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, he carries a broad international perspective having worked in Kenya, South Africa, Bahrain, and experience working with 17 geographies across Sub Saharan Africa.

Charles has 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.

Charles has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, is a Certified Public Accountant and is an alumnus of the Vodafone Inspire Leadership program.

Chief Enterprise Business Officer

Chris Lazarus has been appointed as the Chief Enterprise Business Officer. 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.

Chris 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).

Chief Financial Services Officer

Paul Kavavu has been appointed as the Chief Financial Services Officer. Currently the Head of M-PESA new Business Ventures at Safaricom, Paul 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.

Chief Sales and Distribution Officer

Andarge Kabtimer 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 us 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.

Chief Finance Officer

Stanley Njoroge has been appointed as the Chief Finance Officer. He joins us from Guinness Nigeria PLC where he was the Finance & Strategy Director and a member of the Board. Stanley has been in Diageo for over 13 years where he held various senior roles in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Prior to joining Diageo, Stanley 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.

Chief Human Resource Officer

Mokaya 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.

Chief Legal and Risk Officer

Julie Arndt 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.

Chief Regulatory and External Affairs Officer

Matthew Harrison-Harvey 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.

Director, Project Management Office

Koichi Kawase has been appointed as the Director, Project Management Office. Koichi 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 Vice President and Board member of a device lifecycle management start-up company.


* Profiles of the Executive team is presented as provided by Safaricom Ethiopia. 

*The image attached with this story includes other individuals that are not in the Executive team and doesn’t include all the executive team members who are yet to arrive in Ethiopia. 

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