Vodacom setting sights on African expansion

Vodacom might not be the biggest mobile service provider in Africa, but the company feels that there is still a lot of room for expansion – especially further into Africa.

Vodacom Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub (image: Vodacom)

“We are looking at opportunities in Africa, we believe we’ve cracked the Africa model now. Our African model is working … and we’re confident we can roll it out successfully. For us to sustain the growth going forward, we think we need to look at new opportunities,” he said in a response to a question about potential acquisitions in Africa,” Vodacom Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said.

Vodacom has offices in South Africa, but also has a presence in other African nations, such as Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho. Rival network operator MTN has operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Mentioning those countries, Joosub added that they will be looking at rolling out mobile money transfer options to those nations – working off the hugely successful M-Pesa model that has dominated the Kenyan and Tanzanian markets.

“With 47.1% of Tanzania’s customer base actively using M-Pesa, the service now contributes 12.6% to Tanzania’s service revenue, up considerably from 6.9 % a year ago. Building on this success, similar money transfer services will be rolled out in the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho in the next nine months,” he added.

Joosub concluded by saying “the International operations have reached a critical turning point in terms of profitability, EBITDA increased 92.3% to R1.269 billion and the EBITDA margin grew by 6.0 pts to 20.6%, as we started to realise scale benefits from significant revenue growth.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor