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Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Listed Telco, Safaricom may have opted not to hire a Head of Communications to replace Elizabeth Yoga
who left the position last year for other ventures and chosen instead to restructure its internal PR team and beef up its external consultancy team support.

Nick Wachira, the Ogilvy Kenya MD on instructions from Safaricom has dedicated a team of seven of his consultants to work on the account with some based at  Safaricom House to support Safaricom in house.

The company has embraced an expanded PR and Strategic Communications role as it grows in size and faces a multitude of brand management issues from financial earnings to regulatory matters on financial services, broadband to Safaricom sponsored events like Rugby Sevens and so on.

Yoga was the second holder of the Head of Department post reporting to Director of Corporate Affairs, Nzioka Waita.

Victoria Kaigai, now at GE was the first holder of the position which was created after the restructuring of the company under the Safaricom 2.0 strategy.

Nzioka oversees both the legal and the communications departments each of which had a HOD.

The internal Comms department at the giant telco has seen several changes in the last one year and continues to evolve as new personnel are brought in.

Former senior PR manager Anne Nderi left for Barclays while the senior manager, Digital, Maryanne Michuki left for Philips East Africa both to similar positions.

The company is expected to hire a second senior manager after luring Kui Kinyanjui from IBM East Africa last October.

Daily Nation business editor Wachira Kang'aru had been expected to return to the 5th floor premises where he once worked but is reported to have opted to stay put at the Twin Towers.

Wachira and his former Editor Washington Akumu both worked at Safaricom before they left for other ventures.

At the time, Cedric Lumiti then with Gina Din also operated from Safaricom House as in house PR consultant.

This is a big year for Safaricom on many fronts.

It is rolling out an LTE/4G service which is expected to culminate in its offering of streaming TV services in homes among other services.

It is locked in battle with Equity Bank over a plan to deploy thin SIM overlay technology asthe grassroots lender seeks to muscle in on its MPESA turf.

It needs to migrate its MPESA platform from Rackspace servers in Germany to locally based servers.

It has to roll out a brand new LTE network for the police security network in Mombasa and Nairobi with money from its own free cash flow.

And still it has to maintain market leadership in a fast evolving market.

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