Digital Africa

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #9 – Ralph Mupita

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Digital Africa


By Quentin Velluet, Jaysim Hanspal

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Posted on November 17, 2021 13:44

Ralph Mupita, CEO Of MTN
Ralph Mupita, CEO Of MTN

The continent’s top telco is gearing up to get leaner and meaner for its next transformation. Under Zimbabwean CEO Ralph Mupita, South Africa-based MTN Group is betting on mobile money, fintech innovations and building platforms to expand its bottom line. In Nigeria, the group’s biggest market, data revenue is soon set to overpass voice revenue for the first time.

While the Nigerian authorities are stonewalling MTN’s attempts to get a full mobile-money licence –  potentially of one of the last great growth markets on the continent – this was not enough to persuade Mupita and his team to bet big on a licence in Ethiopia this year, after they lost out in a first round to Safaricom.

Mupita says he is planning to continue a divestment programme worth about $1.6bn over the next three to five years.

He ranks ninth in our list of Top African Digital Leaders

Focus on Nigeria

MTN is planning to get out of operations outside of its main focus in Africa, meaning that Nigeria is likely to be centre stage for the telco. But the relationship with the authorities in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, have been fraught over the years and there are no signs of a long-term rapprochement.

Mupita became CEO of the group on 1 September 2020, taking over from the long-serving

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