Safaricom has appointed Sitoyo Lopokoiyit to head the newly created joint venture with South Africa’s Vodacom Group that will run the lucrative M-Pesa platform. Before his appointment, Sitoyo has been the Chief Officer for Financial Services in the company. His appointment is part of the process to establish the joint venture’s leadership team.
The two entities completed the acquisition of the M-Pesa brand from their affiliate Vodafone Group Plc in an Sh1.4 billion transaction in April this year.
Vodacom and Vodafone own a combined 40 per cent stake in the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm which pioneered the M-Pesa service in the local market.
The joint partnership will see Safaricom and Vodacom which operates in South Africa and other markets in the region including Tanzania grow the platform beyond Kenya.
“To realise our ambition, the M-Pesa Africa Joint Venture will be steered by a team of five leaders. Consisting of the commercial director, finance director, technology director, head of compliance and risk and the chief of financial services, Safaricom,” the telco said in a statement.
“This team will be led by and report directly to Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.” Interim Managing Director, M-Pesa Africa
“The joint venture will allow the parties to consolidate M-Pesa platform development, synchronise more closely product road maps, and improve operational capabilities into a single, fully converged unit,” said Michael Joseph, outgoing Safaricom CEO.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, says, “Our joint venture will allow Vodacom and Safaricom to drive the next generation of the M-PESA platform – an intelligent, cloud-based platform for the smartphone age.”