Sitoyo Lopokoiyit was confirmed as the new Managing Director at M-Pesa Africa, with his appointment having taken effect on April 1, 2021. He was the Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom, and will remain in the role as the telco initiates talent sourcing processes to find his replacement.
M-Pesa Africa was established as a jóint venture between Vodacom and Safaricom to accelerate expansion of the world’s first and most successful mobile money service across the continent. It was through the jóint venture that Safaricom and Vodacom completed the acquisition of the M-PESA brand, product development and support services from Vodafone.
The move, first announced in 2019 and completed in April 2020, was expected to catalyze expansion of M-Pesa into new African markets. As CEO of M-Pesa Africa, Lopokoiyit will be in charge of a fintech behemoth which boasts revenues of over $1 billion (Ksh107.9 billion).
M-Pesa is the continent’s largest mobile payments platform with over 40 million users across Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique and Egypt.
Lopokoiyit, however, is no stranger to the world of mobile money and payment systems in Africa. He was appointed Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom in 2018, after a 2-year stint in Tanzania as M-Commerce Director (M-Pesa) at Vodacom Tanzania Plc.
He led a turn-around strategy focused on adoption of M-Pesa in Tanzania which ultimately proved successful, resulting in accelerated growth of the service in the East African nation. Lopokoiyit notably still serves as the Chairman of M-Pesa Limited (Tanzania).
He has also been at the heart of innovative financial services products tied to M-Pesa – such as Fuliza, the the world’s first contextual over draft facility, M-Shwari for savings and loans, M-Pesa Global Payments and the M-Pesa App.
Prior to joining Vodacom Tanzania, Lopokoiyit was the Head of Financial Services (M-Pesa) at Safaricom between July 2011 and March 2016 – a period when the service witnessed astronomical growth.
He has held other executive roles outside of the telco and fintech world, including being the Diversification Manager at Total Kenya between 2009 and 2011. He also served as Business Advisor Consumer & Industrial, Merchandise Manager, East Africa at Chevron.
Lopokoiyit attended Alliance High School between 1991 and 1994, and secured a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) degree from the University of Nairobi in 2002.
He also holds a Master of Science (MSc.) Management Information Systems from the University of Lancaster. Lopokoiyit is also the Chairman of the governing council of KCA university.