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Econet announces managers ahead of launch

NAIROBI, June 30 – The parent company of Kenya’s third mobile phone operator Econet Wireless, Monday announced the appointment of senior managers ahead of the projected roll out of its operations in July.

In a statement, Essar Communications Holdings Limited (ECHL) appointed Shailendra Khare as the Chief Technical Officer, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Philip Mudimu will now serve as the firm’s Project Director while Anna Othoro is the new Marketing Director.

Othoro joins Econet a few months after she left Celtel Kenya where she served in the same capacity.

Early in 2008, the Indian firm ECHL announced the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Econet Wireless International Limited (EWI) by subscribing to fresh capital in the company.

EWI owns a controlling 70 percent stake in Econet Wireless Kenya.

Essar will actively participate with EWI in the network rollout of Econet Wireless Kenya.

At the same time, the company named Michael Foley to the post of CEO, East Africa. 

Foley will have the overall responsibility for the group\’s telecom investments and operations in the region, and will also oversee the launch of Econet Wireless Kenya.

The appointees have extensive experience in the operations of the cellular networks and are expected to contribute significantly to the growth of Econet Wireless in the highly competitive mobile telephony market.

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"The move is Kenya’s third mobile telephone provider’s answer to a call to appoint a management team with extensive regional and global experience in order to give much needed throttle to a dynamic yet critical sector," the statement read in part.

In mid March 2008, Mudimu who was then the firm’s CEO said plans to roll-out its services were at an advanced stage.

Mudimu had indicated that the firm had started recruiting staff, mobilizing funds and selecting the suppliers of equipment in readiness for the launch in July.

It is estimated that the initial phase of the process will cost an estimated Sh19 billion, where focus will be on introducing the services in major urban areas.

However, there are speculations that ECHL will spend more that $500 million for the roll out of the operator’s services.

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