Stanford Seed names new director to lead its expansion efforts into India & across Africa


Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, aka Stanford Seed, has named Darius Teter as the new executive director of the institute to  oversee its growth and expansion in Africa and into India respectively.

Teter, is a former VP of global programs at Oxfam America where he oversaw the humanitarian emergency response team and regional development programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as research, learning and evaluation. Stanford Seed believes his experience in international development,  humanitarian emergencies and financing public infrastructure mega-projects will be key to expanding its programs in Africa and India.

“Darius is passionate about promoting global economic prosperity, making him the ideal leader for Stanford Seed,” said Jonathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business. “As Stanford Seed continues to grow and evolve, Darius’ deep experience will help guide the institute to its next level of success.”

Teter will work closely with Sørensen, who served as executive director of Seed from 2015 to 2017, and Raj Chellaraj, associate dean for finance and administration at the GSB, who served as chief operating officer of Seed during the same time period. Teter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School. He has also completed advanced studies in resource economics at the University of British Columbia.

Founded in 2011, Seed held its first Transformation Program in Accra, Ghana, in 2013 and expanded to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016. Since then, the Seed Transformation Program has trained and mentored 565 entrepreneurs and senior staff members, leading to increased revenue and new job creation throughout the region. In addition, participating companies have raised almost $11 million in funding and 79 percent have grown their customer base.

In May 2017, Seed announced its expansion into India through its new location in Chennai, which will serve entrepreneurs from across the country. The first annual program will run from August 2017 to August 2018 and will be held at the state-of-the-art Infosys corporate campus.

The Web Foundation names new president & CEO to bolster its mission to open up the web to improve lives globally


 The Web Foundation has named Adrian Lovett, as its new President & Chief Executive Officer taking over from interim CEO Jose M. Alonso, who has led the Foundation since May 2017 when Anne Jellema moved on after five years in the CEO position.

According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, and Founding Director of the Web Foundation said: “Adrian brings to the Foundation his broad experience in driving policy change on complex issues, as well as his skills in leading and managing diverse international teams. He shares our commitment to digital equality, and believes in the web as a powerful catalyst for change. “

The experienced advocate and campaigner will lead the Foundation’s diverse international team of advocates, researchers and activists on five continents in their work to secure the policy changes necessary for digital equality — a world where everyone has the same rights and opportunities online. Recently interim CEO for the global anti-poverty campaign, ONE, Lovett is expected to  drive policy change along with the Board and Web Foundation team, especially at this time when defending and enhancing the open web is critical for humanity.

Lovett’s 20-year career in international development and advocacy has centred on delivering policy change on complex global issues in North America, Europe and the Global South.  He played a leading role in campaigns such as Make Poverty History and Jubilee 2000, and held senior posts at Oxfam and Save the Children.

 “Every woman and every man should have the power to access and use the open web to improve their lives, whether in London or Lagos. Achieving this digital equality will not only help the world overcome poverty and disease – it can enable all of us to fulfil our human potential. But it will require an intensified, co-ordinated effort that engages and inspires citizens and policy-makers around the world. I’m thrilled to have the chance to contribute to that effort, and to work with the fantastic Web Foundation team and its partners to achieve our goal.”

Established by web inventor Sir Tim-Berners-Lee in 2009, the Web Foundation’s mission is to establish the open web as a public good and a basic right. The foundation sees Adrian’s unique background and experience in public policy as important assets to its mission globally. Adrian will take up the post on 4 September.

Liquid Telecom names Former Vodafone Group executive as new Neotel CEO


Econet Group’s Liquid Telecom has named Kyle Whitehill as CEO at Neotel to oversee plans to make extensive upgrades and expansions to Neotel’s network, enabling more customers to access high-speed, reliable connectivity across South Africa.

Kyle brings extensive international experience and leadership to Neotel, having served as CEO in some of the fastest growing telecoms markets across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Kyle was with Vodafone Group for almost 15 years, where he most recently served as CEO of Vodafone Qatar, overseeing the successful launch of the country’s fastest 4G+ network and helping to significantly grow its subscriber base. He also spent three years as CEO of Vodafone Ghana, where he established the company as a market leader in both fixed-line and enterprise services, as well as 2 years as Chief Operating Officer in India and almost 7 years in the UK leading one of Vodafone’s biggest enterprise business units. Since leaving Vodafone, Kyle had a brief spell setting up the international arm of Ezdan Holding Group; Qatar’s largest real estate firm.

“This is an exciting time to be joining Neotel, as we look to reaffirm the company’s position in the market through improved services and products for our customers,” said Kyle Whitehill, CEO, Neotel. “As part of the Liquid Telecom Group, Neotel will for the first time become a truly pan-African player with access to an extensive network footprint across the continent, giving us a stronger competitive edge in South Africa and beyond.”

Following regulatory approval for the ZAR 6.55 billion acquisition in December 2016, Neotel officially joined the Liquid Telecom Group in February, and is now focused on delivering enhanced network services to enterprises and consumers

Joining Kyle’s management team at Neotel is Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Michael Allschwang, whose appointment was announced in April.

Ex-Airtel Kenya MD Adil Youssefi appointed new CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya


Mr Adil Youssefi, who is the immediate former MD Airtel Kenya has been appointed as the new CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya after three years at the helm of Kenya’s second largest telco.

He succeeds Mr Ben Roberts, who will become board Chairman of Liquid Telecom Kenya and concentrate on his role as the Chief Technology Officer for Liquid Telecom Group, a position he has held since 2006.

Prior to that, Youssefi worked for Millicom Group a mobile operator with operations in several African countries in various capacities across its subsidiaries. He started as a Senior Advisor to the Chief Officer Asia in Sri Lanka in 2008, then moved to Chad to take up the Chief Executive position and finally served as the Chief Executive of Millicom Ghana in 2012.

Youssefi was known for picking public battles with Safaricom urging regulator CA to regulate it for its monopoly and allegedly unfair competitive practices among others and at one time threatened Airtel would shut down and leave the market due to that. Some of his complaints were right but his hands at Airtel Kenya were tied as the entire group has to report to Bharti Airtel in India. His biggest failure was the laxity to market Airtel Money to everyone’s noses to take on expensive M-Pesa.

As the new Liquid Telecom Kenya CEO, he will be in charge of both retail and wholesale broadband expansion and especially the group’s Hai brand which will see him face off another dominant player Zuku, a fibre to the home product operated by Wananchi Group.  Liquid Telecom Kenya acquired the then Kenya Data Networks in 2013 and has laid 5,000km of fibre network across Kenya, with 800km laid in 2016. It has connected 41 of the 47 counties to high speed Internet, and rolled out successive rounds of new technology. At Airtel, Youssefi saw the connection of various institutions to its broadband services, an experience needed at his new job.

Mr Youssefi has over 15 years’ experience in senior management across Africa, Asia and Europe, with expertise in developing markets, leadership, and telecommunications, He contributed to double digit growth in the companies he led in Kenya, Ghana and Chad.

Liquid Telecom Group has grown rapidly in recent years, building an extensive fibre network spanning 11 countries across Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. This network has grown from 13,000km in 2013 to 40,000km by 2017.

The expansion of Liquid Telecom including the group’s recent acquisition of Raha in Tanzania and Neotel in South Africa, has also prompted the group to appoint Willie Fryer as Chief Finance Officer, covering East Africa.  This position was held previously by Mr Raj Jandu who has moved to South Africa to take the role of Chief Finance Officer at Neotel.

Azuri Technologies Appoints General Manager for Nigeria & Ghana


PayGo solar firm Azuri Technologies has appointed Vera Nwanze as its General Manager for Nigeria and Ghana, as the company continues to grow its presence in the region.

Her appointment comes just a few months after the firm partnered with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) to launch its PayGo Solar Home Systems in Nigeria in January 2017. Vice President HE Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, officially launched the solar power program to deliver 20,000 units to rural households living without electricity in the country.

As a pioneer of PayGo solar power when it first entered the Kenyan market in 2011, Azuri has since expanded its reach outside of East Africa to sell over 100,000 PayGo solar home systems across multiple African countries. This new position will play a pivotal role in driving the company’s expansion plans in two key growth markets in West Africa.

Vera Nwanze commented: “It is an exciting moment for me joining the Azuri family and being part of the Azuri success story in the West Africa region.”

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri, said: “I am delighted that Vera will be joining Azuri as General Manger of Nigeria and Ghana. Vera has a tremendously impressive track record in West Africa and we wish her every success in this new and important role.”

Mteto Nyati leaves MTN South Africa



Mteto Nyati, CEO of MTN South Africa is leaving the firm and will be replaced by VP of the SEA region at MTN Group Godfrey Motsa starting 13 March this year.

Nyati will start as the new group chief executive at Altron on 1 July 2017.

According to Mike Leeming, Chairman of the Altron Board, the appointment of Nyati followed a rigorous recruitment process.

“The Altron Board embarked on a global search for a suitable candidate with the necessary global leadership experience and business orientation with a solid track record in the ICT sector. Mteto has in-depth blue chip technology experience having been at IBM for twelve years and six years at Microsoft prior to joining MTN in October 2014. He has extensive experience in both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. We are extremely pleased to have him on board and are confident that he, the board and Robbie will work well together during the handover phase,” said Leeming.

Nyati joined MTN as Group Chief Enterprise Officer in October 2014, after working at Microsoft South Africa since 2008. At Microsoft, Nyati served as Managing Director for the South African operations, and also had a short stint as the group’s General Manager for the MEA Emerging Regions. Prior to that he was the Director of IBM Global Technology Services at IBM South Africa.

Nyati holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also studied at Yale University. In 2004, he was named a Yale University World Fellow.

Nyati will assume responsibility as Altron Chief Executive no later than 1 July 2017.

“To be appointed to the helm of an organisation that has been in business for 51 years is both an honour and a challenge. It is an honour in that Altron has a strong legacy of leadership and innovation in the markets in which it plays. It is a challenge as the information technology and telecommunications sectors are fast evolving and in order to stay ahead of the curve, organisations like Altron continually have to re-invent themselves in order to stay relevant and competitive in the changing business landscape. I look forward to working with Robbie during the transition period and engaging with the Altron Board and all employees of Altron as we take the Group into the next phase of its growth,” said Nyati.

At the helm of MTN South Africa is Motsa, who has over 10 years of experience in the telecoms sector as a former CEO of Vodacom Lesotho, CEO of Vodacom DRC, and Chief Officer Consumer Business Unit at Vodacom SA.

Karl Toriola, VP WECA will assume the role of VP of the SEA region as the firm hunts for a suitable candidate.