ITNewsAfrica is profiling Africa’s Top 10 Telecom Leaders, based on their executive achievements and their companies’ business performance. Africa’s ICT business leaders have made great strides in building successful African Telecommunications companies and innovation has played a crucial part in their success.
Here’s our list of top 10 African Telecom Leaders, in no particular order:
1. Naguib Sawiris
Naguib Sawiris is the Executive Chairman of Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH). He is also the executive chairman of Wind Telecom and chairman of the board of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA (Italy).
OTH launched the first mobile operator in Egypt, Mobinil in 1998. OTH has 20,000 employees and manages 11 GSM operators around the globe. Naguib Sawiris is the eldest of three brothers. His brothers are Nassef Sawiris and Samih Sawiris. He is the son of Onsi Sawiris who established the Orascom Group.
In 2010, Naguib Sawiris was listed in Forbes magazine as the 374th richest person in the world, with a personal wealth of US$2.5 billion. Naguib Sawiris holds a Diplom (similar to a Master’s) in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland and the Abitur (diploma) from the German Protestant School, Cairo, Egypt.
2. Mohamed Abdel Rehim Hassanein
Mohamed Abdel Rehim Hassanein is the CEO and Managing Director for Telecom Egypt (TE). Mohammed was promoted to Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) responsible for overseeing all network technology related functions across the TE Group including planning, implementation and operations and maintenance.
He has worked for TE in technical and managerial roles for nearly 35 years, most recently as VP for Operations & Maintenance, a role he was appointed to in 2001. He has been with the company in various managerial and technical positions since 1976, including General Manager of the First and Third Zones of East Cairo, then Sector Chief of East Cairo Zones. He holds a B.Sc. in Communications Engineering from Al Azhar University.
3. Alieu Conteh
Alieu Conteh is the Chairman of Congolese Wireless Network and the developer of the nation’s (Democratic Republic of Congo) first Global System for Mobile communications digital network.
Conteh Schooled in London and California State University, Long Beach. Conteh’s business reputation on the continent has grown over the past twenty years by founding and operating a successful commodity business.
Conteh continues to lead the team in building out the infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of Congo while maintaining his focus on the acquisition of additional license franchises.
4. Mike Adenuga
Mike Adenuga is the Nigerian Chairman and CEO of Globacom, popularly known as GLO.
Adenuga’s rise to wealth and accompanying fame is an interesting story. His resolve to succeed against all odds started when, while in America, he worked as a taxi driver and security guard to sustain himself in school.
Adenuga had his secondary school education at the Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, Oyo State, before proceeding to the North-Western University in Oklahoma and Pace University, New York, both in the United States where he studied business administration.
GLO is privately owned by the Mike Adenuga Group which also consists of Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB), Conoil PLC, a petroleum marketing company, and Conoil Producing, a crude exploration company.
5. Etinne Kouadio
Etinne Kouadio is the MD of Alink Telecom Côte d’Ivoire. Alink Telecom is a leading pan African Telecommunications Group operating in 12 countries. Alink Telecom has positioned itself as a major provider of Data and VoIP in Western and Central Africa.
Kouadio has developed Alink Telecom as MD for Niger and Ghana business units before joining Côte d’Ivoire.
Kouadio has 10 years of experience in marketing and selling Telecom products and services. He graduated from the Top School of Business Management of Abidjan in 1999. He holds a Certificate of Business Language Proficiency from University of Brighton, England in 1998. He has been a key note speaker in GSM West Africa in Dakar.
6. Steven Evans
Steven Evans is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Etisalat Nigeria. He has a depth of experience directing service providers across the globe. Evans was formerly CEO of BT Mobile and Director of Wireless Broadband at BT Mobile.
Evans has over 20 years global mobile telecommunications experience.
7. Sifiso Dabengwa
Sifiso Dabengwa is MTN Group CEO. Dabengwa previously served as CEO of the Nigerian business, where he is now director, after a stint as MD of MTN SA.
Before joining the telecom company in 1999, Dabengwa headed Eskom’s distribution division, where he controlled a multibillion-rand budget in a division employing 17 000 people and generating revenues of more than R20bn/year (about US $ 2.5 bn).
Dabengwa is the former chairman of the Dawn Suite Hotel Group. He previously served on the boards of Peermont Global and Impala Platinum Holdings.
Dabengwa is an electrical engineer by training. He obtained his junior degree in engineering from the University of Zimbabwe, and has a Wits MBA.
8. José dos Sontos
José dos Santos is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodacom Mozambique. He has over 20 years experience in the telecommunications industry, involved mainly in the GSM business.
José has spent several years outside South Africa, mainly in Tanzania and Mozambique. He has a very good understanding of the low-end and emerging markets, having been directly involved in the conceptualization and implementation of innovative products.
During his career, José held Management positions in various companies including Message Link, Auto Page Cellular, Cell C, Vodacom Tanzania.
José is a member of the South African Institute of Directors and a member of the South African Institute of marketing Management (IMM).
9. Bob Collymore
Bob Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest mobile-phone company. Prior to joining Safaricom, Bob was the Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs in Vodacom Group responsible for the Group’s Corporate Communication, Ethics and Compliance, Legal, External Relationships and Corporate Social Responsibility. Prior to that, he was Vodafone’s Governance Director for Africa where he was responsible for developing and driving Vodafone’s strategy for its investments in Africa as well as representing Vodafone as a key direct foreign investor in a number of African countries. Bob has more than 25 years of commercial experience working in the telecommunications sector.
Collymore now lives in Kenya after relocating from South Africa where he has lived for the past 3 years and had spent the previous 3 years living and working in Tokyo as Vodafone’s Director, Consumer Marketing (Asia), overseeing the development and alignment of Vodafone’s Japanese business. His previous roles included Global Purchasing Director for Vodafone and Purchasing Director for the Dixons Stores Group, one of the UK’s largest electrical retailers.
Collymore is also a trustee of Holding companies in Kenya and Tanzania for M-PESA, Vodafone’s pioneering money transfer service.
10. Mickael Ghossein
Mickael Ghossein is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Orange Telkom Kenya. Ghossein has over 28 years experience in the telecommunications industry. Previously he was the Group CEO of Jordan Telecom, Mobilecom and Orange Reunion.
Ghossein has worked for Mobilrom as the Chief Commercial Officer and Marketing and Chief Officer. He worked for the France Telecom Group between 1991 and 1997 as director of EUTELTRACS activities, director for the marketing bilateral department and director of business department.
Other companies he has worked for include Enterprise General de Telecommunications and Thomson CSF cooperation.
Ghossein holds a Master of Electronics Electrotechnics Automatisation from University of Lyon, holds an engineering diploma from The Institute of Superieur Electronic Nord and DEA signal processing from the University of Valenciennes.
Sources: the Africa Report, African Success and African Wireless
Bontle Moeng – ITNewsAfrica Online Editor