SOUTH AFRICA – 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.

“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 in mid-November 2021 and will be reporting to the Chief Executive of Vodacom Group Shameel Joosub.

He first joined Safaricom in 2006 as an In-House Counsel, rising over the years to hold the position of Senior Manager, Public Policy & Market Regulation until 2011 when he was appointed Head of Regulatory and Public Policy.

In 2015, he was appointed the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.

“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 organization, and making a significant contribution to the success of Safaricom,” said Mr. Ndegwa.

Vodacom, a South African telco 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 the 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.

He will oversee the Vodacom market of South Africa Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Lesotho and Vodafone Ghana.

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