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Eulogy to a Pioneering Businessman who Drove Kenya’s Mobile Money Revolution

Bob Collymore, the head of east Africa’s biggest telecoms company, Safaricom, and a pioneer of mobile money, who passed away this month, said the ultimate purpose of his business was “transforming lives”. In doing so, he helped inspire a generation of corporate leaders to think bigger. The UK-born chief executive, who has died aged 61 after a long battle with cancer, led Kenya’s largest mobile operator through a period of rapid growth, turning Safaricom into East Africa’s most profitable business. Under his leadership over the last 8 years, the company’s revolutionary mobile money service, M-Pesa, evolved from a fledgling peer to peer transfer system to become the backbone of the country’s digital economy, used by 2 in every 5 Kenyans.

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