Vodacom Tanzania appoints Safaricom exec as MD

Sylvia Mulinge, Vodacom Tanzania's new MD.
Sylvia Mulinge, Vodacom Tanzania's new MD.

Vodacom Tanzania yesterday named Safaricom's head of consumer business as its new MD to lead the company that listed in Dar es Salaam last year amid government efforts to expand local ownership of the industry.

Sylvia Mulinge, who has been at Safaricom since 2006, will take over on 1 June, Vodacom Tanzania, a unit of SA's Vodacom Group, said in a statement.

She will replace Ian Ferrao who joined Vodacom Tanzania three years ago. Ferrao decided not to renew his contract with the company and will leave to "pursue other interests", the company said.

Ferrao led the company through a $213 million initial public offering last August, Tanzania's largest to date, which attracted more than 40 000 local investors, most of whom were first-time participants in the country's stock market.

Foreigners, initially banned from participating, bought 40% of the shares.

The move was part of a government directive for mobile companies to list a minimum 25% stake at the local Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).

Vodacom is the only telecom company so far in Tanzania to list on the DSE, where it closed on Monday at 850 shillings ($0.3759).

Vodacom controls 32% market share of the country's 40 million mobile subscribers. Other major players include Tigo Tanzania, a subsidiary of Sweden's Millicom and a local unit of India's Bharti Airtel.

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