Sylvia Mulinge Promises To Focus On Digital Solutions In Her MTN Role
Sylvia Mulinge became the first-ever female CEO at MTN Uganda when she was appointed for the role in July. She brings with her a track record of executive business experience spanning close to 20 years.
With her 15 years of experience in the telecom industry, Mulinge has promised to steer the continued growth and strategic progress of MTN Uganda. The new MTN Uganda CEO said this when she was addressing journalists at MTN Uganda Head Office in Kampala after receiving her tools of office from MTN Uganda Chairman, Charles Mbire.
“I am ready to build on my predecessors’ achievements to steer the continued growth of MTN Uganda through strategic partnerships and leveraging MTN’s brand as the most trusted and valued by all consumers and stakeholders in Uganda,” she said.
She further said that she was looking for good working relationships with stakeholders, including MTN staff, shareholders, regulators, business partners, and the local government in Uganda.
“This is for the company to operate in a conducive environment, close the digital divide, and ensure that everyone accrues the benefits of modern connected life,” Mulinge added.
On his part, MTN Uganda Chairman, Charles Mbire said the company is confident that their new CEO is passionate to transform customers’ lives, leadership, and women empowerment. Charles said that they will be using technology to help drive accelerated growth and positioning of MTN for greater relevance ahead.
Ms. Mulinge has served as the Chief Consumer Business Officer at Safaricom PLC since 2018. She is credited for driving the company’s customer obsession strategy to deliver long-term shareholder growth, as well as creating preference for the Safaricom brand.
Mulinge, an alumnus of the University of Nairobi, will focus on spearheading the delivery of the Ambition 2025 strategy whose intent is to play a leading role in providing digital solutions for Africa’s progress. This is through driving industry-leading connectivity operations, creating shared values, and accelerating portfolio transformation.
She takes the rein at the time businesses, including telecoms are grappling with high commodity prices, inflation, geopolitical conflicts, and low demand.
This also coincides with the telecom’s dislike for taxes on data and handsets, claiming that it has lowered the uptake of smartphones among the population and thus kept internet costs high.
Currently, the government charges 18 per cent VAT and 12 per cent excise duty on mobile phones, in addition to a raft of other levies and taxes on data.
“When I looked at the statistics for Uganda, I saw that a lot of work has been done with support from the government and the regulator, to enable us to provide the coverage which is required,” she said.
She further mentioned that one of the challenges facing the telecom industry is not only about the capacity to consume due to prices, but also the infrastructure.
Ms. Mulinge, who has been serving as the Chief Consumer Business Officer at Safaricom PLC since 2018, is credited for driving the company’s customer obsession strategy to deliver long-term shareholder growth and creating preference for the Safaricom brand.
Since joining Safaricom PLC in 2006, Mulinge served in various roles, including Prepay Product Manager, Head of retail, Head of Safaricom Business – Sales, General Manager, Enterprise Business, and Director, Consumer Business.
Mulinge began her career in 2004 at Unilever Kenya, working as the Assistant Regional Brand Manager in the laundry division, based in South Africa.
She joins MTN Uganda nine months after listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange in December last year, enabling thousands of Uganda to own a share of the company.
MTN Uganda had 16.3 million subscribers, 9.8 million Mobile Money users, and 5.7 million active data users as of the end of the second quarter of 2022.