Josephine Sarouk, MTN Nigeria Regional GM, Lagos & Southwest, has been appointed Managing Director of MTN GlobalConnect Nigeria, the infrastructure unit of the mobile phone company.
Sarouk’s appointment, which takes effective from March 1, 2023, comes amid plans by South Africa’s MTN Group, parent company of MTN Nigeria, to land the 2Africa cable in five African nations, including Nigeria.
Under plans to roll out 135,000km of proprietary fibre by 2025 expected to generate over $1 billion revenue, MTN says it wants to entrench itself “as the number one African fibre player, by building subsea and terrestrial scalable capacity and resilience.”
Meanwhile, Sarouk’s appointment as MTN GlobalConnect Nigeria MD was announced alongside that of Juliet Nsubuga, who becomes MTN GlobalConnect Uganda MD from April 1, 2023, as part of the company’s plan to boost the leadership team to drive its infrastructure ambition.
“I look forward to working closely with our newly appointed business leaders as we continue to build our business in Africa,” Frédéric Schepens, MTN GlobalConnect CEO says. “We welcome Juliet and Josephine into the MTN GlobalConnect family and look forward to learning from their knowledge and rich experience in the Telecommunications sector.”
According to him, “as MTN GlobalConnect looks to increase fixed connectivity, and international mobile services through wholesale opportunities, Juliet and Josephine’s addition to the company’s strong female leadership bench will ensure that through its #GrowAfrica strategy, MTN GlobalConnect is well positioned to meet the anticipated exponential growth in data traffic in Africa thereby accelerating the continent’s digital economy.”
Profiled: Josephine Awatefe Sarouk, Managing Director of MTN GlobalConnect Nigeria
Josephine Awatefe Sarouk has more than 14 years of experience in the Telecommunications sector, specialising in ICT, Digital, Wholesale, Enterprise Sales & Marketing. She joins from MTN Nigeria, where she was General Manager: Regional Operations Lagos and Southwest, a position she has occupied since 2017. She holds a BA Hons in Journalism and Law from the University of West London and a postgraduate certificate in Business Administration and Management from the University of Wales.
Sarouk, who has spent over 14 years at MTN Nigeria where she is the General Manager, Regional Operations, responsible for implementing MTNN’s Lagos & South-West regional operations strategy within the regional environment and ensure that regional sales targets and service levels are achieved.
She was also responsible to drive compliance and enhance MTNN’s corporate image and reputation by driving/championing the External Management Stakeholder Strategy, among other responsibilities.
At MTN Nigeria, she has held the position of Senior Manager, Enterprise Strategic Accounts and Mobile AdvertisingSenior Manager, Enterprise Strategic Accounts and Mobile Advertising where she focused on developing high-value high-margin enterprise service offerings based on the MTN Nigeria’s fixed network assets, and worked with corporate Nigeria to ensure the adoption of the mobile phone company’s mobile advertising services.
Before MTN Nigeria, was Senior Business Development Manager at Maxymiser, provider of Conversion Management solutions including content optimization and website personalization with offices in New York, London, Edinburgh and Dusseldorf. She was also Senior Sales Manager at Kodime Ltd, a Mobile Marketing, mCRM and mCommerce service provider that provides cloud-based software solutions for clients easily market and sell via SMS, Mobile Sites and Apps for them to efficiently connect, engage and transact with their customers anytime, anywhere, in an instant.
She was also Sales Executive at SPG Media, part of Sterling publications Ltd in the UK, which is an international business to business media company providing controlled circulation magazines, reference websites and business conferences and summits for top company executives and senior management.
She will be taking the saddle at the Nigerian unit of MTN GlobalConnect that prides itself as “your leading Pan-African infrastructure services company and your doorway to the African continent in wholesale. We capitalise on the most significant backbone in Africa – MTN.Net. As the single-entry point to the largest network infrastructure in Africa, we manage over 100,000 km of proprietary fibre in our network.”
The MTN infrastructure unit says its multicultural team “consists of over 30 nationalities located across the globe. The team is highly skilled in forging local and global partnerships around the world. 45% of our workforce are women and 42% of them are in leadership roles.”
MTN GlobalConnect sells and buys to/from other wholesale players and manages “international assets, traffic for MTN operating companies as well as for third parties that we support with a valuable portfolio of services for growing their business and managing their operations.”
GlobalConnect is a Pan-African digital wholesale and infrastructure services company founded in 2017, and an operating company in the MTN Group. GlobalConnect manages MTN’s international and national major wholesale activities, in addition to offering reliable wholesale and infrastructure solutions for fixed connectivity and wholesale mobility solutions that include international mobile services, Voice, SMS, signalling, roaming and interconnect.
MTN GlobalConnect to drive 2Africa cable expansion
MTN Group, through its MTN GlobalConnect in partnership with the 2Africa consortium that includes China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC, recently announced plans to land the 45 000km 2Africa cable in Nigeria.
This followed the recent landing in South Africa where the 2Africa cable will have two landing points followed by four other countries that include Nigeria, Sudan, Cote D’Ivoire, and Ghana.
MTN says the go-live of the 2Africa cable connection in 2023 will allow MTN GlobalConnect to showcase, “in a tangible manner, the importance of connectivity and creating cross border networks, that connect Africa to the rest of the world.”
The 2Africa landing in South Africa, is one of several cable landings taking place across 46 locations in 33 countries, according to MTN.
“This subsea cable will lay the foundation for improved global internet access, connecting people and continents. Once live, it will play a big part in delivering much-needed capacity in Africa from Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and CEO says.
“Strategic partnerships such as the one we have with the 2Africa consortium,” Mupita says, “will help us accelerate and deepen internet adoption and socio-economic progress across the African continent. Data traffic across African markets is expected to grow between four and five fold over the next 5 years, so we need infrastructure and capacity to meet that level of growth and demand.”
This cable landing adds to another milestone to the digital railroads we are building around Africa, making telecommunications accessible and available.
The 2Africa subsea cable system will support the western and eastern sides of Africa, once complete in 2023 and 2024 respectively, MTN says.
The cable, with a design capacity of up to 180 TBps. on key parts of the system, will deliver much-needed internet capacity, reliability, and improved internet performance across large parts of Africa; supplement the fast-growing capacity demand in the Middle East; and underpin the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for millions of people.
“MTN GlobalConnect is pleased to participate in this bold 2Africa subsea cable project. The initiative complements our terrestrial fibre strategy to connect African countries to each other and to the rest of the world. We are building scale infrastructure assets to meet the explosive growth in data traffic and accelerate the digital economy on the continent, by creating a pan-African fibre railroad driving affordable connectivity,” Frédéric Schepens, MTN GlobalConnect CEO says.
The mobile phone giant says that through MTN GlobalConnect, which is the 2Africa landing party, it is proud to form part of a consortium “which is aligned to delivering on our Ambition 2025 strategy: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress, by investing in connectivity to improve global economic growth, while uplifting the livelihoods of many in South Africa and the rest of Africa.”
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