Bob Collymore, chief executive officer of Safaricom, Kenya’s mobile network operator, died on Monday after battling cancer for two years.
The 61-year-old took over the helms of Safaricom in 2010 and grew the company to become the largest telecom operator in Kenya, controlling a 62% share of the market.
He achieved this through M-Pesa, the company’s mobile money service.
According to the company’s latest financial results, it now has 30 million subscribers, up from 17 million in 2010.
Safaricom’s share price also witnessed a 500% increase between 2010 and 2019. In recent times, there have been regulatory calls to split the company into its financial and telecommunications arm because of its dominant size however, Collymore resisted such moves.
Other mobile financial services launched by the company under his watch are M-Shwari, Fuliza, and M-Tiba; a health-payment application that allows low-income earners to save towards their healthcare expenses.
With these services, low-income earners and people living in rural communities could access financial services outside the formal banking system.
With these services, they are able to save, transfer money and even take loans.
His work was termed as revolutionary such that mobile payment systems were launched in other countries including India and Tanzania.
In May, the Kenyan government requested that he chaired the board of its National Cancer Institute.
Collymore, who was born in Guyana, South America, was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a cancer of the blood cells in 2017.
Source: The Cable