Safaricom’s M-Pesa Africa has appointed Sitoyo Lopokoiyit as its new Managing Director. He is a “mobile financial services expert who has directly managed mobile money in two of the largest markets in the world – Kenya and Tanzania.
Lopokoiyit joined Safaricom in 2011 as head of M-Pesa strategy and business development. He then went on to Vodacom Tanzania in 2016 where he worked as the director of m-commerce, before re-joining Safaricom in 2018. This is such a smart move to help strengthen the financial sector and help in business development for the company.
Senators in Kenya believe that Safaricom should split into two firms – Mobile Services and M-PESA. Acc, a split would see the mobile telephony service is regulated by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the M-Pesa division regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
A recent report revealed that senators believe there should be a level playing ground for the likes of Telkom and Airtel Kenya who operate at the mercy of Safaricom as they owe it billions of shillings.
“The market is not competitive any more. The other operators should be allowed to operate, by giving the dominant operator its right, but also allowing the others to operate, and allow innovation in the country,” says Senator Petronilla Were of the ICT committee.
Senator Irungu Kang’ata echoed this sentiment, saying “in Kenya, you have a situation where one single player dictates how much you are going to pay for data bundles, for calls and Short Message Service because it controls almost 90 per cent of the market”.
“In such a situation, I do not foresee any other entity growing. We are not going to create more jobs and innovation in that industry because of the dominance of one entity.”
Senator Enock Wambua urged Safaricom to confirm whether it is a communication company or a banking institution. “I would suggest that Safaricom is split into two. Safaricom the communication company, regulated by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), and the M-Pesa division regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.”