Safaricom’s Kenya staff to help with Ethiopia unit

08 October 2021

Kenyan operator Safaricom will second its staff to run Ethiopia operations for products and network development that will help it gain market share currently enjoyed by state-owned Ethio Telecom.

The telco, which alongside other partners is seeking to start operations in 2022, will then gradually reduce Kenyan expertise and inject into the local workforce as the business grows.

Safaricom’s operations in its native Kenya will be through an operating company that will have its own CEO, executive team and a full management team.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said the operator wants to achieve a high network coverage in a market with more than 100 million people and a relatively lower uptake of mobile and internet services.

“We will need to second several people to be able to inject the level of expertise, both on the technology side, but also on the commercial side,” he said. “But quickly (we will) start to embed local talent, to ensure that their flavour of the business will start being Ethiopian. We intend to make sure that long term that business is truly Ethiopian.”
Safaricom said it will employ the strategies that saw it overtake Airtel Kenya (then Kencell) in the mobile phone market nearly 20 years ago.