Vodacom plans expansion into African markets

gailjadehamiltommobVodacom has offices in South Africa and also a presence in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho. (Image source: gailjadehamilton/Flickr)Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub, has announced the company's plans to expand its business in Africa

“We are looking at opportunities in Africa, we believe we’ve cracked the Africa model now," said Joosub. "For us to sustain the growth going forward, we think we need to look at new opportunities.”

Vodacom has offices in South Africa and also has a presence in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Lesotho.

The company’s competitor network operator, MTN, has operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Joosub added that Vodacom will look at rolling out mobile money transfer options to countries like Tanzania, DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho using the M-Pesa model that has dominated the Kenyan and Tanzanian markets since its launch.

“With 47.1 per cent of Tanzania’s customer base actively using M-Pesa, the service now contributes 12.6 per cent to Tanzania’s service revenue, up considerably from 6.9 per cent a year ago," he said. "Building on this success, similar money transfer services will be rolled out in the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho in the next nine months.”

Vodacom’s chief executive officer for the international division, Johann Dennelind, said that although Vodacom’s performance on the African continent has always been behind MTN's, the situation was slowly changing.

He said, “Vodacom has operations in Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and the DRC and it is in the number one position in all markets except Mozambique, where it is second.

“A couple of years ago, we were under intense price pressure in a lot of our markets and it was because of increased competition, especially the bringing of Indian mobile into Africa. But, the pricing has now become rational.”

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