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Mastercard appoints new West Africa head

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Global payments firm Mastercard has appointed Folasade Femi-Lawal as its new country manager and area business head for West Africa.

Femi-Lawal succeeds Ebehijie Momoh, who has held the position since 2019.

With over 25 years of experience, Femi-Lawal will be responsible for furthering the company's vision, innovation and growth agenda in the region.

Mastercard said Femi-Lawal will also help the company strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders and advance its mission of building a more connected and inclusive digital economy in West Africa.

Previously Femi-Lawal led the cards and messaging business at First Bank in Nigeria, where she contributed to the bank's mobile financial services and digital banking strategy.

Before joining First Bank, Femi-Lawal was the head of the United Bank of Africa's loan monitoring unit and also previously worked at Airtel.

"Femi Lawal's vast experience across the digital payments ecosystem will be a huge asset to the Mastercard business in West Africa," said Mastercard Sub-Saharan Africa Division President Mark Elliott.

"She arrives at a pivotal time when digital innovation is transforming the country's payments landscape, moving Nigeria toward a cashless society," Elliott added.

Femi-Lawal said she is eager to support the Nigerian government's agenda for developing a powerful, inclusive and secure digital economy.

African leadership appointments

Femi-Lawal's appointment comes on the back of some other recent key appointments at tech companies on the continent.

In January 2024, Kenya-based payments platform Cellulant announced the resignation of its group CEO, Akshay Grover.

Earlier in the same month, Swedish multinational Ericsson appointed Majda Lahlou Kassi as its vice president and head of West Africa and Morocco.

Ericsson's newly appointed vice president and head of West Africa and Morocco, Majda Lahlou Kassi.   (Source: Ericsson)
Ericsson's newly appointed vice president and head of West Africa and Morocco, Majda Lahlou Kassi.
(Source: Ericsson)

Her appointment follows the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) appointing David Mugonyi as director-general following the resignation of Ezra Chiloba last year.

On the telco side, Airtel Africa announced that its Segun Ogunsanya will retire at the end of June 2024 and will be replaced by the operator's director of transformation, Sunil Taldar.

In December 2023, pan-African operator MTN announced some changes to its executives, with MTN Ghana CEO Selorm Adadevoh becoming group chief commercial officer and Stephen Blewett taking over the top job at MTN Ghana.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

Those appointments followed Liquid Intelligent Technologies, the Pan-African digital infrastructure provider, appointing former Cell C CFO Lerato Pule as its new chief financial officer.

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*Top image is of the newly appointed Mastercard country manager and area business head for West Africa, Folasade Femi-Lawal. (Source: Mastercard)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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