Wim Vanhelleputte Appointed New CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia Unit

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 3 Min Read

MTN Group’s Wim Vanhelleputte has been appointed as the new head of Safaricom Ethiopia, following the departure of Anwar Soussa.

Safaricom Ethiopia, a subsidiary of Safaricom Kenya, announced that Vanhelleputte will take over from Soussa starting September 1, 2023.

Safaricom highlighted Vanhelleputte’s extensive leadership experience and deep industry knowledge, having worked in the telecommunications sector across multiple markets in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years. Prior to joining Safaricom, Vanhelleputte served as the operations executive for markets at MTN Group, overseeing four operating companies in West and Central Africa.

Vanhelleputte’s previous roles include CEO of MTN Uganda from 2016 and CEO of MTN Côte d’Ivoire from 2009 to 2015. He also briefly worked at Airtel Africa as the regional director for francophone Africa and later as the cluster CEO for Airtel DRC and Congo.

As Vanhelleputte takes on his new role, he will be responsible for building on the milestones achieved by Anwar Soussa, who led Safaricom Ethiopia to gain over 4 million customers and expand its network coverage to 25% of the population across 50 cities and towns. Soussa was instrumental in securing the license for Safaricom Ethiopia to operate mobile money services, allowing the company to launch its popular platform, M-Pesa, in the country.

Safaricom Ethiopia expressed confidence in a seamless transition and maintaining the momentum achieved so far in delivering its vision of transforming lives through a digital future for all Ethiopians.

Meanwhile, Vanhelleputte’s departure from MTN Group will see Stephen Blewett assume the position of operations executive: markets. Blewett, who previously served as the group chief operating officer of Digicel in Jamaica, will take on executive responsibility for the WECA markets of Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, and Congo Brazzaville.

Both Safaricom Ethiopia and MTN Group expressed their enthusiasm for the new appointments and the wealth of experience the executives bring to their respective positions. These changes reflect the dynamic nature of the African telecommunications industry as companies strive to expand and provide innovative services to meet the growing demands of their customers.

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