Safaricom losses Anwar Soussa, the telco’s Ethiopian CEO

anwar soussa

Safaricom PLC, the leading telecommunications company in Kenya, has announced the resignation of Anwar Soussa, the CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia. Mr. Anwar Soussa has been at the helm of Safaricom Ethiopia since April 2021, when he was appointed as the first CEO of the newly formed subsidiary.

Safaricom Ethiopia is the second telecommunications operator in Ethiopia, after the state-owned Ethio Telecom. The company was awarded a nationwide full-service Unified Telecommunications Service Licence in May 2021, following a competitive bidding process that involved a consortium of international partners, including Vodafone Group, Vodacom Group, Sumitomo Corporation and British International Investment.

Under Mr. Soussa’s leadership, Safaricom Ethiopia has achieved remarkable growth and innovation in the Ethiopian market. The company has acquired over 4 million customers and expanded its network coverage to 50 cities and towns, reaching about 25% of the total population. The company has also launched various products and services, such as prepay data, voice and SMS bundles, digital EKYC process, outsourced call centre, branded range of Safaricom devices and postpay plans.

One of the most notable achievements of Safaricom Ethiopia is obtaining the Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia in December 2022. This license enables Safaricom Ethiopia to launch M-Pesa, the popular mobile money service that has transformed financial inclusion in Kenya and other African countries. M-Pesa will allow Safaricom Ethiopia customers to send and receive money, pay bills, buy airtime and access other financial services using their mobile phones.

However, Mr. Anwar Soussa will not be part of Safaricom Ethiopia’s journey as it rolls out M-Pesa and other digital products in Africa’s second most populous country. He has decided to step down from his position for personal reasons, effective from March 2023. Safaricom PLC has not yet announced his successor.

Mr. Soussa is a seasoned telecommunications executive with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has previously worked as the CEO of Airtel Uganda and Airtel Chad, as well as the Managing Director of Vodacom Congo. He has also served as the Chief Operations Officer of MTN.

Safaricom PLC CEO Peter Ndegwa thanked Mr. Soussa for his contribution to Safaricom Ethiopia and wished him well in his future endeavors. He said: “Anwar has been instrumental in setting up Safaricom Ethiopia and leading it to achieve remarkable milestones in a short period of time. He has built a strong team and laid a solid foundation for Safaricom Ethiopia’s future growth and success. We are grateful for his service and leadership.”

Safaricom Ethiopia is poised to continue its growth trajectory and deliver on its vision to transform lives through a digital future for all Ethiopians. The company has recently secured a $257.4 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will help it roll out and operate 4G and 5G mobile networks across the country.

Safaricom Ethiopia is also committed to supporting Ethiopia’s digital transformation agenda and contributing to its social and economic development. The company aims to create jobs, empower women and youth, support local businesses, promote environmental sustainability and enhance digital literacy among its customers and stakeholders.

Read: How m-mama is saving lives of mothers and newborns in Kenya


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