Airtel Africa, a telecommunications services provider with operations in 14 countries across Africa, has announced the appointment of Ian Ferrao as Regional Director of its East Africa business.
Ian Ferrao has more than 12 years of experience in senior management telecommunications roles in Africa. Prior to joining Airtel Africa, he was the CEO of Vodacom Tanzania PLC, the CEO of Vodacom Lesotho and Chief Commercial Officer at Vodacom Business Africa. He holds a First Class Honours Degree in BSc Management Sciences from the Warwick Business School.
In a statement, Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to welcome Ian as Regional Director for East Africa, which includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda. He brings a wealth of relevant telecommunications and mobile money experience within the region and will be an asset to the business. He will be part of the Africa Executive Committee based in Nairobi and will focus on driving growth across voice, data and mobile money in East Africa.”
Airtel Kenya is in talks with Telkom Kenya to merge their businesses and take on Kenya’s telco giant Safaricom. This appointment might help the firm address its interests in Kenya after the deal and help it expand across East Africa as well.
Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya want to merge their respective Mobile, Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses in Kenya to form Airtel-Telkom.
However, Telkom Kenya Limited’s real estate portfolio and specific government services will not form part of the combined entity.
Telkom Kenya is expected to hold up to 49 percent of the merger. The merged company will be chaired by Telkom Kenya Limited CEO, Mr. Mugo Kibati while Airtel Networks Kenya Chief Executive, Mr. Prasanta Sarma, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer.
The finalisation and closure of the transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities.
Airtel Networks Kenya Limited (Airtel Kenya) and Telkom Kenya Limited (Telkom Kenya) will see no immediate changes to their operations which will continue as usual. Similarly, there will also be no change to the current respective leadership and management, legal, organisational and staffing structures.
Additionally, both brands: ‘Airtel’ and ‘Telkom’, as well as their respective products and solutions, will continue to co-exist. Similarly, service delivery to the respective companies’ customers as well as engagement with all business partners of both companies will continue to operate as usual.
As per the agreement, both the partners will combine their operations in Kenya and establish an entity with enhanced scale and efficiency, larger distribution network and strategic brand presence, thereby enhancing the range and quality of products and service offerings in the market, and greater choice and convenience to the consumer.
The combined entity will see sustained investments in networks to further accelerate roll out of future technologies. The Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses will get a boost with a larger fibre footprint and increased number of enterprise customers – including both large corporations and SMEs who would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions.
Commenting on the agreement, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Henry Rotich said:“This move is well aligned with the government’s agenda to optimise the value of the assets that it holds in trust, on behalf of Kenyans, while cementing the country’s position not only as a regional business hub but also as an international investment magnet.”