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“The next Safaricom boss needs to understand tech” – Bob Collymore

By Nicholas Norbrook, in Nairobi
Posted on Monday, 25 March 2019 12:43, updated on Monday, 22 March 2021 10:53

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore

The Africa Report sits down with the retiring boss of Safaricom, Kenya’s dominant telecoms player and creator of the widely popular M-Pesa mobile-money platform.

“I highly recommend this lifestyle,” says Bob Collymore, sitting on the veranda of his imposing house in the affluent Nairobi suburbs. “This morning I woke up and had the 8:15am call. Then I caught up with some emails, then I have you and another media engagement after […] I don’t actually need to go to the office.”

With the gentle chirrup of birdsong and the jazz radio playing in the large sitting room behind, it is hard to disagree, though the less well-organised might see their productivity suffer. “And it occurred to me,” continues Collymore, “that we all get into this funnel, to commute and get into the office by 8-9am. Whereas, I could easily do the interviews here, go into the office by midday and miss the traffic.”