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
Head of Africa
Akinwale Goodluck is the Head of the GSMA in Sub-Saharan Africa and has primary responsibility for the attainment of the GSMA’s objective in the region focusing on collaboration between mobile operators, governments and other ecosystem players to overcome the physical, social and economic barriers to GSMA’s vision for a better future.
Akinwale Goodluck is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and has had a career spanning Investment Banking, Legal Practise and in the last 15 years been engaged in the ICT & mobile communications sector working for MTN Nigeria Communications Limited for 14 years, 7 of which was at Executive level with primary responsibility for the management of the Regulatory, Commercial Legal, Reputation, Corporate Governance and Stakeholder management risks for MTN Nigeria.
Akinwale provided leadership for the Regulatory objectives of the MTN Group Limited and all its 23 Operations spread across Africa and the Middle East. Akinwale has been recognized as an authority, respected resource person and much sought after speaker locally and internationally in the realm of ICT Regulation & other utilities.
He is an alumnus of the Lagos State University, The Nigeria Law School and the Harvard Business School. Akinwale is an avid cyclist, a friend of the Arts particularly theatre and a firm believer in Social Responsibility.
Senior Strategic Engagement Director for Africa
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.
Advocacy Marketing Manager, Africa and Middle East
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.
Public Policy, Spectrum, Government & Regulatory Affairs
Senior Policy Manager, SSA
Kamal is a Senior Policy Manager on the Sub-Saharan Africa Policy Team. In his role, Kamal is involved in 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.
Policy Manager, SSA , GSMA
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.
Office Manager, Africa
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.
Senior Policy Manager
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.
Mobile For Development
Senior Market Engagement Director, Mobile for Development
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.
Mobile for Development Director
Gerry is the Market Engagement Director in Africa for the Mobile Money programme. In this role, he supports the deepening of the GSMA’s regional Mobile Money engagement, through the development of more successful mobile money services.
Prior to joining the GSMA, Gerry was the Technical Lead, Agent Network Group at Enclude Solutions (formerly ShoreBank International & Triodos Facet). He has a wealth of experience in the branchless banking arena, notably from the world acclaimed M-PESA, where he pioneered the set-up of the agent network in Kenya that was responsible for taking financial services closer to the people. Gerry is also experienced in designing and building agent networks which support financial inclusion, having worked on the bKash initiative in Bangladesh, the first of its kind. Gerry has also worked on initiatives in other regions and countries including Uganda, Fiji Islands, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Peru, Ethiopia and most recently Brazil.
Gerry has worked globally with numerous telecom partners and financial institutions. In addition to strong experience in sales and distribution across East Africa and the Pacific region, Gerry has interacted with regulatory bodies to help formulate policies for Mobile Financial Services. Gerry has also co-published an agent training document.
Market Engagement Director, Ecosystem Accelerator, GSMA
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
Regulatory Director, Mobile Money
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.
Senior Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development – Utilities
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).
Senior Market Engagement Manager, IPN Hub
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.”
Regulatory Specialist, Mobile Money
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
Market Engagement Manager, Ecosystem Accelerator
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.
Market Engagement Manager, Africa, Connected Women
Adrine is the GSMA Connected Women Market Engagement Manager for Africa charged with the responsibility of working with MNO’s and their partners to bridge the Gender gap and get more women in low and middle class markets to use mobile money and mobile internet for the greater good. She also manages all commitments made by partners across Africa.
Adrine has over 10 years working experience with her career being predominantly in Marketing, Before Joining GSMA she worked at Safaricom Limited for 5 years, starting off as the M-PESA Brand Manager responsible for Advertising and driving usage of M-PESA among customers, a role she performed for 4 years before moving to manage Safaricom Brand communication. Prior to this she worked in the FMCG industry with Reckitt Benckiser, Nestle & Brookside Dairy Ltd in both Sales and Marketing capacities.
She holds a Degree in Business Administration, Marketing Major from Nazarene University and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management from the University of Nairobi.
Market Engagement Manager, Digital Identity
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.
Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities
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.
Market Engagement Manager – Connected Society
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.
Policy and Advocacy Manager, Mobile for Development, GSMA
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.
Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation, GSMA
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.
Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation
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.
Market Engagement Manager, Agritech
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.
Market Engagement Manager-Assistive Tech Program.
Nzomo Mbithuka is the Market Engagement Manager-Assistive Tech Program.
He has a strong technology, telco and banking background, with his last assignment being a Cloud Technology Lead at Oracle Corporation, where he led deployment of key digital transformation projects in public sector. Before then, he was the marketing and business development lead for the greater Eastern Africa region for british satellite operator: Avanti Communications Group Plc, where among other projects he spearheaded “Constituency Innovations Hubs” project that focuses on creating online jobs and innovation incubation in Kenya.
He also led engagement for “SatDRR”, a project focusing on disaster risk reduction and food security, and “iMlango”, a project focused on digital skills for the girl-child in 4 marginalised counties in Kenya. Before Avanti, he worked at Airtel as Head of Public Sector & SME Business, Yu Mobile, and before then a successful career in banking for 8 years at Equity Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya in senior roles.
He also serves in Kenya’s public policy think tank – KIPPRA as a non-executitive director by dint of a presidential appointment and is very passionate about digital democratization and inclusion of PWDs in economic development and access to opportunities
Nzomo holds a Bsc. IT and a host of other industry and leadership development certifications, and is currently finalizing his MBA-Strategic Management.