About Us

The GSMA has a strong and growing presence in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, with a multi-disciplinary team of more than 20 staff spread across the region in DRC, Cote D’Ivoire, Kenya and Nigeria. Among the GSMA’s key activities in the region are Mobile for Development (M4D) initiatives, public policy engagements, coordination of regional interest groups and member services.

To learn more about the GSMA in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, please contact SSA@gsma.com.

Sub Saharan Africa Team

Leadership

Angela Wamola

Acting Head of Sub-Saharan Africa

Angela Wamola

Angela is the Strategic Engagement Director for Africa. Her role works collaboratively, internally and externally, within the region, and helps our members to move forward on collaborative industry agendas.

Angela’s keen interest in technology has led her to spend over a decade in the mobile industry, having spent much of that time with Safaricom, where she started as a Network Planning Engineer to having ran departments within the technology division. While serving at Safaricom, she was the first and only, senior woman in the technology division’s leadership team, where she served for a period of 6 years. During this time, she led two departments and was instrumental in delivering the two undersea cables linking Kenya to the world, revolutionizing mobile broadband in Kenya, and spearheading Safaricom’s network IP Transformation & Modernization program. She is also passionate about redefining business in society for all to benefit. In addressing the challenges faced in growing women talent in the technology domain in Kenya, she founded Safaricom’s Women in Technology in 2011, an unbounded organization that tackles the talent pipeline for women in the industry in Kenya towards ‘advancing women from the classroom to the boardroom’.

Angela also holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nairobi and holds an EMBA from University of Capetown’s Graduate School of Business.

Public Policy, Spectrum, Government & Regulatory Affairs

Kamal Tamawa

Director, Public Policy SSA

Kamal Tamawa

Kamal is the Director of Public Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa. In his role, Kamal is involved in leading the delivery of GSMA Advocacy programmes in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and the dissemination of messages on a wide variety of policy topics, including Spectrum.

He has worked with the Nigerian Telecoms Regulator and, prior to joining the GSMA, he worked with Etisalat Nigeria where he managed Regulatory Compliance, Spectrum Policy and Technical Regulatory matters. Kamal is also been a member of the Technical Advisory Committee that prepares Nigeria’ s participation at International fora on spectrum and other technical matters.

Kamal holds a B.Sc in Computer Engineering from the American University of Cyprus and an M.Sc in Mobile and Personal Communications from King’s College London. In his spare time, he indulges in Photography and has been known to cheer for Manchester United Football Club of England.

Alain Betu

Policy Manager, SSA , GSMA

Alain Betu

Alain is the Policy Manager for Central Africa on the Sub-Saharan Africa Policy team. He joined the GSMA in February 2019 in the Sub Saharan Africa team, based in Kinshasa and responsible for GSMA’s advocacy programmes and supporting members in policy and regulatory matters in Central Africa.

Alain brings twelve years of experience in regulatory affairs dedicated to ensuring compliance of telecommunication operators with applicable rules and regulations. During this time, he has focused his engagement with policy makers and regulatory agencies on improving the industry’s business environment.

Before joining the GSMA, Alain served as Regulatory Affairs Manager at Vodacom Congo from 2006 to 2019 where he has worked on retail and wholesale tariff regulation and license acquisitions. He contributed to Vodacom’s launch of the first 3G and 4G mobile networks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Alain holds an Engineering degree in Telecommunications from the Pedagogic and Technical Institute of Kinshasa (ISPT) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Corporate Law from Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning in Pune, India.

Priscilla Mairura

Office Manager, Africa

Priscilla Mairura

Priscilla Mairura works in the capacity of Office Manager for the Sub Saharan Africa Office where she provides full support to staff and operations in Nairobi. She also plays a strategic role in facilities management and gives administrative and operational support to the Africa Team.

She has more than 12 years’ experience managing various Administrative and HR functions and has worked in various organizations at both local and regional level. Prior to joining the GSMA she worked with Heifer International’s – East Africa Regional Office (EADD) Project and Financial Access (EA) Ltd.

Priscilla holds a Diploma in Business Management from the University of Nairobi. She has received professional training in Human resources and Labour Law Audit, and Change Management among others.

Seyni Malan Fati

Senior Policy Manager , GSMA

Seyni Malan Fati

Seyni Malan FATI is a Senior Policy Manager with over 14-year rich ICT Regulation experience. He is responsible for GSMA’s advocacy programs and supporting members in policy and regulatory matters in West Africa.

Before joining the GSMA, Seyni was the Head of Projects at the Smart Africa Secretariat in Kigali, Rwanda. He was mainly leading the implementation of One Africa Network project and the Free Roaming initiatives between Smart Africa members countries and before that he was the Director of Economics and Telecom Markets at the Regulatory Authority of Telecommunications and Posts (ARTP) of Senegal, from 2015 to end of 2018.

He has led and participated in several projects and studies such as the development of the strategy of the Universal Telecommunication Service of Senegal, the audit of the costs of licensed operators, the implementation of unbundling the local loop, the approval of interconnection catalogs of the powerful designated operators, the implementation of number portability, the operators QoS measurement campaigns and the identification of subscribers in Senegal. In 2017, he was one of the focal points for the West Africa Free Roaming One Area implementation.

Since 2005, He has been actively involved in ITU-RGS3-AFR and is currently Vice-Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 12 about QoS. He is also Chairman of the African regional group of the Study Group 12.

After a year of mathematics Superior in Paris, he went to the Polytechnic School of Montreal to be a Telecom Engineer in 2001 and is passionate about sports, especially football and is also a member of the Lions Club International in the Dakar Baobab club in Senegal.

Caroline Mbugua

Senior Policy Manager

Caroline Mbugua

Caroline Mbugua is the Senior Policy Manager SSA, she leads policy activities in the East Africa region. Caroline drives GSMAs advocacy programs and supports members though engagements with Regulators, Policy makers and other stakeholder in the ecosystem in order to shape the Policy and Regulatory landscape in the region to achieve connectivity for everything and everyone for a better future.

She has over 13years experience in the Telecommunication industry, before joining the GSMA, Caroline worked at Safaricom PLC as the Policy and Stakeholder engagement lead. She implemented various policy programs with a variety of national and regional stakeholders.

She engaged with industry regulatory bodies and government on topical issues that affect the telecommunication sector such as; spectrum, infrastructure, interconnect, competition, taxation, privacy, etc. She contributed to the shaping of the policy environment in Kenya and East Africa at large by representing Safaricom at the East Africa Communication Organization (EACO) and Africa Telecommunication Union (ATU).

Caroline holds an MBA from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and is an alumni of Strathmore Business School, Policy Executive Program.

Marketing

Wangari Karuoya

Advocacy Marketing Manager, Africa and Middle East

Wangari Karuoya

Wangari Karuoya is the Advocacy Marketing Manager, Africa and Middle East and is based in Nairobi. Wangari manages local implementation of the annual marketing and communications plan, region-specific marketing content and regional and in-country campaigns to increase awareness and action within target audience groups. She works very closely with colleagues and programmes focused across both regions. Prior to joining the GSMA she worked with Save the Children International, a Non- Governmental Organization that deals with issues of health, education and child protection as the Campaign and Communication Officer.

Wangari holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the United States International University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Development Communication at the same institution.

Mobile For Development

Ilana Cohen

Senior Market Engagement Director, Mobile for Development

Ilana Cohen

Ilana Cohen is the Senior Market Engagement Director, Mobile for Development. She is responsible for supporting the Innovation Fund in Africa through advisory to applicants and grantees, and for building relationships with the Mobile for Development Utilities ecosystem comprising MNOs, tower companies, ESCOs, WSPs, academics and NGOs. Prior to joining the GSMA she spent 2 years as a consultant in water and sanitation services, including the application of mobile tools. She was involved in research and organization of the World Bank led Water and Sanitation Hackathons in London. Prior to this she worked as an environmental consultant carrying out environmental impact assessments.

Ilana holds an MSc from Oxford University in Water Science, Policy and Management and a Bachelors in Biology from Brandeis University.

Julianne Mweheire

Data & Insights Director, Mobile Money

Julianne Mweheire

Julianne is the Data and Insights Director, Mobile Money. She is responsible for leading research on financial inclusion and the development of mobile money across low-and medium-income countries.
Prior to joining the GSMA, she spent 2 years at the Uganda Communications Commission working as the Director Industry Affairs and Content, where she spearheaded the development and implementation of a data management system for the monitoring and reporting of the performance of the communication sector, to guide innovation and regulatory intervention.

In addition, Julianne was head of the Commissions advocacy programs that worked to ensure that communications services including mobile money, were accessible to all, irrespective of their geographic or economic situation.

Julianne spent 13 years working with MTN Uganda in charge of their wholesale and carrier services business. She is passionate about telecommunications, and the access to services that will drive equality and improve the economic and social lives of underserved communities.

Julianne has a degree in Economics and Management and holds a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications Management from Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ, USA.

Martin Karanja

Market Engagement Director, Ecosystem Accelerator, GSMA

Martin Karanja

Martin is the Market Engagement Director Manager for the Ecosystem Accelerator programme, based out of Nairobi. He is in charge of leading the Market Engagement team who build and develop relationships with mobile operators and start-ups in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, and supports the start-ups the programme funds through its Innovation Fund, and beyond.

Before joining GSMA, Martin has worked for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Symantec Corporation, Airtel Africa, and Orange Telkom Kenya among others, and brings expertise in the ICT/Telecom industry across Sub-Saharan Africa, including Marketing and Business Development, Product Development and Technology Distribution.

Martin holds a Degree in International Business Administration from United States International University Nairobi, Kenya, and a Diploma in Technology Distribution from Global Technology Distribution Council, Grenoble France

Brian Muthiora

Regulatory Director, Mobile Money

Brian Muthiora

Brian Muthiora is a Senior Mobile Money Regulatory Specialist. In this role he provides tailored support to mobile operators in Sub Sahara Africa and MENA regions helping them find solutions to the regulatory barriers inhibiting the growth of their mobile money services. He also contributes to designing and delivering GSMA’s key advocacy messages targeted at regulatory audiences in the region.

Brian is a regulatory practitioner with over 14 years corporate legal and regulatory experience spanning converged telecommunications and digital financial services. He joined the GSMA from Safaricom where he served as the Legal Counsel Business Partner, Financial Services (M-PESA) and contributed to the development of Kenya’s digital financial services regulatory framework.

Brian is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and holds LLB and LLM degrees.

Nafeesa Punjani

Senior Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development – Utilities

Nafeesa Punjani

As the Senior Market Engagement Manager for the Mobile for Development Utilities team, Nafeesa supports both innovation fund grantees and mobile operators to leverage commercially sustainable partnerships, infrastructure and synergies that unlock access to energy, sanitation and water services for underserved populations.

Nafeesa has worked with mobile operators in diverse emerging markets including Afghanistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. Her experience with both corporate and start-up companies has offered Nafeesa the opportunity to be part of and lead several large scale projects within the areas of in Corporate Strategy, Management Reporting, Business Development and Investor Relations. More recently, Nafeesa was a telecommunications consultant with Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) where she supported due diligence projects for 3 operations in East Africa.

Nafeesa hold a Bachelors in Health Sciences degree from Western University in London, Ontario (Canada).

Jisas Lemasagarai

Senior Market Engagement Manager, IPN Hub

Jisas Lemasagarai

Lema is the Lead for the Mobile Money Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub. IPN Hub is an industry utility developed by the GSMA that provides a single point of integration between mobile money providers and the growing Pay-as-you-go sector. Lema is responsible for the strategic development and scaling of the IPN Hub across Africa to connect all the major mobile operators to PAYG service providers.

Prior to joining GSMA, Lema worked at Fenix International, a next generation energy and financial services company, as it scaled its operations into several markets in Africa, including Uganda, Kenya and Zambia. Previously, Lema worked at the Equity Group Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya, where he ran digital innovation projects geared towards transforming the livelihoods of low income individuals in Africa through financial access. Before that, Lema has worked at Intel Corp (UK) and InMobi (Africa). Lema holds a BSc in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.”

Kennedy Kipkemboi

Regulatory Specialist, Mobile Money

Kennedy Kipkemboi

Kennedy is a Regulatory Specialist, Mobile Money, Mobile for Development. In this role, he is responsible for shaping positions taken by some of the largest and most influential companies in Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA and helping them find solutions to the regulatory barriers. He also contributes to designing and delivering GSMA’s key advocacy messages targeted at regulatory audiences in the region.

Kennedy brings on board a wealth of experience from Safaricom Limited where he has worked in various roles in the past 9 years of his career. He has had vast exposure to converged telecommunications services and mobile money. Before Joining GSMA he worked at Safaricom Limited for 9 years where he specialized in Regulatory and Public Policy as well as Financial Services with an emphasis on Customer Management. While at the Regulatory & Public Policy department, Kennedy was responsible for the management of regulatory compliance and reporting which entailed tracking of enterprise wide compliance with regulatory obligations. In the Financial Services Division (M-PESA), he was a Training & Testing Analyst and was part of the team that ensured success in the migration of the M-PESA system to a new platform (Bringing M-PESA Home).

Kennedy is credited with setting up quality checks for Social Media in the Customer Management Division and won the CEO’s award as well as the Best Employee award in the Customer Experience department.

Kennedy has a degree in Education (Economics & Geography) from Moi University and a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Nairobi

Gregory Omondi

Market Engagement Manager, Ecosystem Accelerator

Gregory Omondi

Gregory is the Marketing Engagement Manager for the Ecosystem Accelerator Programme, based in Nairobi. His key roles are identifying and coaching applicants to the Innovation Fund, mentoring startups, supporting regional and local operators in their efforts to develop start-up friendly strategies, promoting robust partnership between startups and mobile operators, building and managing other relationships with regional and local stakeholders.

Prior to joining GSMA, Gregory was the Innovation Engagement Officer – Africa at Ushahidi under the Making All Voices Count Programme, an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizens engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia, his key roles involved identifying, assessing, selecting, contracting, and managing grantees. He has also worked as a Research Assistant at @iLabAfrica, an innovation research centre at Strathmore University.

Gregory holds a Masters of Science Degree in Mobile Telecommunication Innovation and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Information Technology, both from Strathmore University, Kenya.

Willie Ngumi

Market Engagement Manager, Digital Identity

Willie Ngumi

Willie Ngumi is the Digital Identity Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development, in Africa. He is leading efforts to increase access to basic services such as education and healthcare, where a lack of identity has been a barrier, by champion exploration, scale-up and adoption of mobile-enabled digital identity solutions. He has over 6yrs experience in the ICT4DEV space including health system strengthening, behaviour change communication, and Human Centred Design. Willie previously worked with the CDC Foundation / mHealth Kenya, providing technical support for the conceptualization, design and deployment of mHealth applications through Public Private Partnerships. Willie has an MBA in Strategic Management from the University of Nairobi and a BSc. in Computer Science from Africa Nazarene University, and trained in Human Centred Design.

Leonard Kore

Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities

Leonard Kore

Leonard Kore is the Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities Programme for Africa.

Prior to joining GSMA, Leonard worked as the senior analyst for telecoms at International Data Corporation (IDC) in charge of the East Africa region. Leonard worked with telcos in consulting, research and advisory projects focusing on a variety of topics such as IoT, mobile money, broadband strategies, competitive analysis, market intelligence, opportunity assessments and Go-To market strategies. He also carried out workshops with telcos, wrote thought leadership reports and was a speaker at events. Leonard also worked as a grantee mentor short term consultant for Ushahidi under the Making All Voices Count Programme, helping a startup receive funding of a ICT for health project.

Prior to joining IDC, he had a short stint at Toyota as a management trainee. He has also worked as a Research Assistant at @iLabAfrica, working in grant management and capacity building programs.

Leonard holds a Masters of Science Degree in Mobile Telecommunication Innovation and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Information Technology, both from Strathmore University, Kenya.

Phoebe Kiboi

Market Engagement Manager – Connected Society

Phoebe Kiboi

Phoebe Kiboi is the Market Engagement Manager for the Connected Society program in Africa. Her key roles include leading in-market infrastructure and engaging relevant stakeholders in driving data adoption related projects within the region by creating strategic relationships, identifying the barriers to entry and developing strategies for collaborative system-wide solutions.

Before joining GSMA, Phoebe pursued a Master’s degree whose research focused on creation of value frameworks to increase adoption of mobile technology among various societies in Africa. Prior to this, she worked as a Core Network Engineer at Huawei Technologies in the Sub-Saharan region. Dealing with the end to end integration of core systems that enable access to the internet.

Phoebe holds a Masters in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and an Undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the University of Nottingham.

Ken Okong’o

Policy and Advocacy Manager, Mobile for Development, GSMA

Ken Okong’o

Ken Okong’o is the Policy & Advocacy Senior Manager within Mobile for Development programme in the GSMA. In addition to convening global, regional and in-country partners to amplify best practice policies, Ken conducts research and develops thought leadership on regulatory positions around digital identity, data protection and humanitarian innovation.
Previously, Ken worked in Africa & Asia – in both public & private sectors in the telecommunications and development space. He holds an MSc in ICT Policy & a PhD in Information Systems Technology from University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Jaki Mebur

Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation, GSMA

Jaki Mebur

Jaki is the Market Engagement Manager for the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Programme for Africa.

Prior to Joining the GSMA, Jaki spent over 8 years in the mobile industry first as a mobile core and IP networks expert and finally in the Technology for Development section at Safaricom PLC, where she managed mobile based solutions in the Humanitarian and Disaster Management Portfolios.

She also spent 4 years in a voluntary role as the Program Manager for The Safaricom Women in Technology Academy, an all-girl internship program through which she has championed the increase of female engineers and technicians in the telecommunications industry.

Jaki holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Carol Gitobu

Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation

Carol Gitobu

Carol is the Market Engagement Manager, M4D Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Programme for Africa.

Prior to joining GSMA, she worked for Equity Group Holdings Limited in various business functions. Carol joins from Finserve Africa part of Equity Group where she served as a product manager engaged in financial services, emerging technology and spearheaded the Jenga payment gateway platform. Prior to her work at Finserve Africa, Carol was a special projects manager at Equity Bank where she championed social payments projects in East Africa, enabling financial and economic inclusion in marginalized areas. Among successful initiatives that Carol led include cash payments using technology and channel innovations to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in Kakuma , kalobeyei settlement and in arid Northern Kenya . The cash transfers innovative model was extended to vulnerable children, older persons, persons with severe disabilities and to Refugees in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Carol also led Huduma Kenya Card Payment project and eCitizen platform. She was also a co-chair of the East Africa Humanitarian Private Sector Partnership Platform EA-HPPP (2016-2017).

Carol holds a Master’s degree in strategic Management from Catholic University of the Eastern Africa and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from Kenya Methodist University.

Zeituna Abdi

Market Engagement Manager, Agritech

Zeituna Abdi

Zeituna is the Market Engagement Manager working in Agritech based in Nairobi. Her role is to provide consultancy and implementation support to mobile network operators. She is involved in supporting them with digitization and product development for smallholder farmers.

Prior to joining GSMA, Zeituna worked for Musoni microfinance as the Digital Financial Services Manager spearheading digital transformation initiatives and implementation of digital lending. Previously, Zeituna worked with MicroSave Consulting handling digital financial services.

She has international experience having supported in-country technical assistance in Africa and Asia. Her areas of expertise include digital product development and innovation, training and technical assistance to digital financial service providers and research using human-centred design. She specialises in digital finance strategic and operational aspects for financial institutions.

Zeituna recently completed an MSc in Development Finance from Strathmore Business School, Kenya. She is currently finalizing her Certified Digital Finance Practitioner from Digital Frontiers Institute and Tuft University Fletcher School.

James Karanja

Monitoring & Evaluation Analyst

James Karanja

James joined the GSMA in July 2020 and works towards the realization of equitable and sustainable food chains that empower farmers while strengthening their local economies under the AgriTech programme. As a monitoring and evaluation analyst, James also works under the GSMA-DFID Strategic Partnerships to support digital solutions geared at delivering social impact across underserved communities.

Before joining GSMA, James worked for Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service a Statistician responsible for facilitating testing of new seed varieties ensuring farmers access new and improved seed varieties for optimum production. He has experience in agribusiness ventures and interest in improving livelihoods of the farming community.

He was greatly involved in variety testing, programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation of seed programmes across Kenya.James has a strong quantitative background and is an advocate for data driven decision making within organizations. He specializes in performance monitoring, learning and generating evidence from programmes under implementation. His areas of expertise include data analysis, monitoring, evaluation and surveys.

He has an undergraduate degree in Applied Statistics from the University of Eldoret and is currently finalizing MSc. studies in Finance and Economics from KCA University. James has also completed several courses in monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning.