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

Head of Sub-Saharan Africa

Angela is the Head of Sub Saharan 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 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 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 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 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, HSC

Senior Policy Manager, SSA, GSMA

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 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

Martin Karanja

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

Nafeesa Punjani

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).

Jisas Lemasagarai

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.”

Kennedy Kipkemboi

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

Gregory Omondi

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.

Leonard Kore

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.

Phoebe Kiboi

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.

Carol Gitobu

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.

James Karanja

Monitoring & Evaluation Analyst

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.

Ezra Yego

Innovation Fund Manager, GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund, GSMA

Ezra is the Innovation Fund Manager for the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund, based in Nairobi, Kenya. His key roles include reviewing and assessing grant applications, managing a portfolio of grant projects from contracting to completion and providing technical assistance to the grantees supporting them to scale their solutions.

Prior to joining the GSMA, Ezra worked at the UN Sustainable development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) as the Project Lead of the Global Youth Networks program supporting youth in 85 countries to pioneer innovative solutions for the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. Previously, he worked as Project officer at the UNSDSN – Africa Regional Office, Youth Program Coordinator at the Strathmore Centre for Sustainability Leadership and Youth Advocate at UNICEF Kenya.

In 2020, Ezra was appointed by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta to sit on the Generation Unlimited Kenya steering Committee. In addition, UNICEF appointed him as a champion for its Global Development Commons (GDC) Initiative. Furthermore, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs and UNFPA recognized him as one of Kenya’s Top 35 under 35 Young Leaders in 2020.

Ezra holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and a Diploma in Business Management both from Strathmore University.

Alfred Osiko

Senior Market Engagement Manager, ClimateTech

Alfred is the Senior Market Engagement Manager for the ClimateTech programme. He is keen on working closely with a broad range of stakeholders (e.g. mobile operators, start-ups, technology providers and institutional actors), as well as internal stakeholders within M4D and the broader GSMA stakeholders to integrate digital interventions that provide communities in Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries (LMICs) to be more resilient to socio-economic and environmental challenges posed due to climate change.

He is a keen Corporate Environment Manager and Sustainability Practitioner with over 15 years’ experience. Over the years he has worked in the conservation, consultancy and Telecommunication sectors where he developed competencies in Environmental management, Leadership, Governance, Strategic Thinking, Sustainability Reporting, Social Policy and Stakeholder Engagement. He joined the GSMA  from Safaricom Plc where he worked as an Environmental and Sustainability expert.

In his role, he spearheaded projects focused on the planet’s wellbeing under the Triple bottom approach to doing business. Some of his key achievements include the Joint Development and implementation of the East Africa Climate Change Hackathon, Development and implementation of the Integrated Waste Management strategy which includes E-waste; this was used to lobby the Government to Develop and implement a national Strategy on Solid Waste Management in Kenya, Annual Carbon footprint Calculation for Safaricom since 2012 and the development and implementation of the Safaricom Net Zero initiative, Development and implementation of the Sustainability strategies and the Africa Sustainability leadership Programme currently being offered at the Strathmore University.

Alfred also held the Government affairs docket under the Regulatory & Public Policy function leading the engagements with Government stakeholders to lobby for favourable policy positions, seamless market operations and joint delivery of the Net Zero Aspiration.

He worked at the United Nations Global Compact, supporting the Kenya Network where he spearheaded the Strategic autonomisation of the local network by developing the governance structure, Value Proposition, funding model, and membership growth and implementation of various Environmental initiatives to support businesses to go green and help address climate change and Ethical considerations; The model was used to grow the Tanzanian and other Africa local Networks.

He also worked at Ryden International, the European Union, the Africa Waste and Environment Management Centre (AWEMAC), Kenya Agriculture & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). Where he held various positions that focused on Data analytics, Climate Change, Ecosystem Management, and Natural resource conservation among other responsibilities.

Alfred has a degree in Environmental Science and is currently finalizing a Masters Degree Programme on Procurement and Logistics with a keen focus on Green Procurement. He is also a trained ISO 14001, ISO45001 and ISO 26000 Implementer, Auditor and Lead Auditor.

Mary Gichuki

Advocacy Manager, Mobile Money

Mary joined the GSMA from Safaricom’s Public Policy team. During her time at Safaricom, she advocated for policy positions on key issues, including tax, data protection, consumer protection, and competition, leading to positive outcomes. She also played a role in developing the National Plan of Action on Child Online Protection (Kenya) and drafting the East African Community’s E-Commerce strategy. Managed stakeholder engagement with regulators, legislators, different government agencies, and policy think tanks.

Mary has a ‘Social Science degree and is currently pursuing a postgraduate diploma in law. She is also an alumna of the Strathmore Public Policy Executive Programme, a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Nairobi legal hackers, and All Tech is Human.

Winnie Wambugu

Regulatory Specialist, Mobile Money

Winnie is the Regulatory Specialist.at GSMA. She is involved in developing and implementing engagement strategies to advance GSMA’s mobile money policy and regulatory positions with regulators and governments. She is also involved in building and managing relationships with operators, financial regulators and other key stake holders in identifying strategic opportunities.

Winnie has over 13 years’ experience in the financial sector as an in-house counsel, particularly in fintech, banking and insurance. Prior to joining GSMA, Winnie worked as a global legal and regulatory advisor with Exinity. Prior to that, Winnie has worked at DT One as their senior legal counsel where she was engaging different stakeholders in managing regulatory and product development matters with MNOs in EMEA, APAC and LATAM.

Winnie has pursued her MBA at Strathmore Business School and a global EMBA module at IESE.