South Africa’s Vodacom Group takes control of Safaricom to drive regional expansion


South Africa’s Vodacom has taken a seat on Safaricom’s board after its parent firm UK’s Vodafone Plc transferred 35% of its indirect interest in Safaricom to it.

By taking a seat on Safaricom’s board, South Africa’s Vodacom takes the captaincy of East Africa’s largest telco by subscribers and revenues and charts new course for it. Vodacom will be represented Mohamed Shameel Aziz Joosub, the current CEO and Executive Director of Vodacom Group as well as the Chairman of the Vodacom Group Executive Committee & Vodacom (Pty) Limited.

With these move, Safaricom ceases to report to its UK parent firm and instead will report to South Africa’s Vodacom which has interests across Africa including a heavy presence in East Africa. The board also announced the appointment of Linda Watiri Muriuki to its board as Non-Executive Directors, effective immediately.

“We continue to place a keen focus on building an inclusive board that can both meet the evolving needs of our business, and which takes into account the recent changes in our shareholding structure. Both directors bring with them a wealth of expertise in creating world-class mobile companies in both Europe and Africa,” said Nicholas Ng’ang’a, Chairman, Safaricom.

There have been reports that Vodacom is banking on M-PESA as its new growth opportunity as it eyes domination o fpayments across the continent. The Kenyan government will retain its 30% while UK’s Vodafone PLC will retain its 5% stake with the rest owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and a number of  individual and corporate shareholders. With its Safaricom is a high growth asset for Vodacom with its 21m M-PESA users and over 28.1 million customers.

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