Safaricom throws down gauntlet to African operators – Mobile World Live

Safaricom throws down gauntlet to African operators

16 JUL 2019

LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 – AFRICA, KIGALI, RWANDA: Safaricom chief corporate affairs officer Stephen Chege (pictured) challenged the continent’s operators to explore new opportunities to empower customers and bring the African dream to life.

The executive implored operators to turn their networks into platforms to enable the digital future, citing efforts made by the Kenyan market leader to expand its m-Pesa system and strike partnerships to move into new industries.

“We are on the cusp of something great,” he said. “The rise of the digital citizen provides exciting opportunities to explore innovative opportunities and explore new revenue streams. Today the mobile phone is bridging gaps in financial services, education and healthcare.”

However, he noted operators could not launch a wave of new services alone and should strike appropriate partnerships with other companies. This is in addition to having a strong dialogue with authorities to ensure regulators understand the wider benefits.

“We have an opportunity as mobile operators and leaders of business. The opportunity to bring the dream of Africa alive through our investment and the strategies we take,” Chege said. “Step forward and make this a reality.”

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In addition to launching new products built on network services, Chege emphasised the importance of meeting existing expectations.

“Today’s telco does not dictate to the customer what she or he wants. We have to do what the customer wants especially if you want to stay in business,” he noted.

“Customers are very well connected. When it comes to the internet our customers here in Africa are as capable as all those in European cities, America and Asia – they demand one thing from us – a service that provides fast, reliable and affordable connectivity.”

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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