Zimbabwean among emerging top telecom brains

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Zimbabwean born and bred Norman Moyo, who is currently the chief commercial officer of Zantel, Tanzania, was presented with a prestigious award for making it into the top 40 global executives under the age of 40 in the telecom industry.

The award ceremony was held a fortnight ago in London.

The list of award winners was prepared by the leading online and print magazine for the telecom industry Global Telecoms Business, and was compiled by GTS in conjunction with the GSM Association.

The award ceremony was graced by Franco Bernabe, Italia Telecom Chairman and CEO, who personally presented all 40 executives Under-40 with their awards.

“I joined the telecoms industry in the early stages of the mobile industry wave. I feel proud to be part of an industry that has completely revolutionised the continent socially, economically, politically or otherwise,” said Moyo.

“The award was a great honour and I dedicate it to all the people I worked with in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria and Tanzania. In particular I dedicate this to the ‘Celtel’ people who were and will remain a great and proud part of African telecom history.

“The challenges I faced working in different African markets have helped strengthen my conviction and belief that the next biggest ‘dot com’ is in Africa.

“We are a continent dogged with a lot of misguided and sometimes self inflicted perceptions, but if you scratch one layer down, there is a distinct richness and wealth of entrepreneurial spirit that makes us a great continent to do business with. I was proud to be part of these historic moments of transformation in the continent.”

Candidate selections were made by readers who chose high-performing individuals born on or after July 1 1971.

The selected names were further assessed by an executive panel, including 2009 and 2010 winners some of whom were no longer eligible due to age or had left the industry.

Moyo, a strategic visionary with great understanding of the African market, worked for Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and Cresta Hospitality before moving to Zambia as commercial director for Celtel.

He then moved to Nigeria, as chief marketing officer for Celtel, where he was credited with successfully developing and implementing a breakthrough segmented strategy aimed at young people and the rural population.

Through his leadership the business grew from a customer base of five million to 17 million in 36 months.

In addition he developed a sustainable rural model that overcame the challenging conditions in Nigeria (poor infrastructure, theft, no electricity) as well as provided support to the local community.

In the same region, Tanzania, he worked for Zain (Bahrain) before joining Zantel. Norman masterminded the reinvention and strategic positioning of Zantel as the leading data service provider.