Just three months after re-appointment as CEO of Safaricom, Bob Collymore has joined the board of Acumen, a non-profit social venture fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas that are changing the way the world tackles poverty.
Mr. Collymore was also recently re-appointment to the board of the United Nations Global Compact in recognition of his contribution towards championing the work of the Global compact.
Collymore, who has been at the helm of the Kenyan integrated telecommunications company since 2010, previously sat on the Advisory Council of the nonprofit social venture fund founded by Jacqueline Novogratz. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications sector working in Africa as well as Asia and Europe.
He has also served on the board of United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for women and children. In Kenya, he sits on The Vision 2030 Delivery Board and the United States International University advisory board. In 2012 he was awarded the honour of Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) by the President of the Republic of Kenya for his services to Kenya. He is also the chairman of the TEAMS (The East African Marine System) Board and a Trustee of the M-PESA Foundation.
Mr. Collymore expressed gratitude for his new appointment citing his determination as part of Acumen to create sustainable and inclusive business models across the continent. The appointment can highly be attributed to the rapidly growing success of M-PESA, the world’s most developed mobile payment platform that has thus far revolutionized banking in East Africa by enabling users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services using only a cell phone.
By providing access to banking and other formal financial services, Safaricom’s innovative “pay as you go” platform has unlocked opportunities for millions of poor Africans to afford essential goods and services that can transform their lives. M-PESA’s creators also founded M-KOPA, an energy company in which Acumen invested in 2011 that uses the payment platform to provide solar power to the poor.
This is therefore in line with Acumen’s idea to combine the best markets with the best of aid and charity and now has a proven model that is giving the poor access to everything from ambulances to electricity.