A community of entrepreneurs creating cool payment products for Africa’s mobile generation
We are on a journey to digitise payments for Africa’s largest economies.
Our day job is to deliver reliable pathways and our night job is to constantly improve the services offered.
It took $3000, a serviette and a dream
What are the odds that two young Africans could start a company over a cup of coffee and be successful? In 2001 two young African men from opposite ends of the continent sat across each other at a dinner table that led to a discussion over a cup of coffee. So intense was the conversation that problem solving models were created on a serviette that would fuel the establishment and growth of a multinational African firm forever changing the payments landscape. Meet two simple, passionate and determined African entrepreneurs building a billion dollar business that’s changing the global payment landscape one problem at a time.
Co-founder and Group Co-CEO of Cellulant Ken is a career entrepreneur. He co-founded 3Mice Interactive Media and helped grow it to a leading web development firm in East Africa. He led the Technology, Strategy and Solution Development teams as Solution Design Director responsible for conceptualizing and executing digital projects covering e-commerce, content management and e-business platforms for more than 50 regional blue chip customers. In 2000, Africa Online, the largest Pan-African Internet Service Provider at the time, acquired 3Mice. Ken has led Cellulant from a dream of two founders in 2003, with a plan sketched on a serviette, to a reputable mobile commerce firm in Africa. Ken began his higher education at the University of Nairobi, School of Pharmacy before switching careers to study Management of Information Systems at Strathmore University, in total pursuit of his passion for Connected Computing.
Co-Founder and Group Co-CEO of Cellulant Limited Bolaji was responsible for the implementation of the GES project, an agricultural subsidy program for the Federal Government of Nigeria that disbursed fertilizer & seed subsidies worth $1B to rural farmers.His experience in the agriculture sector has been a key asset in building up Agrikore, the blockchain powered smart-contract system for the agriculture value chain. He drove Sales and Marketing at Procter & Gamble, Nigeria, set up P&G, Ghana and served as Country Director where he grew the business from scratch to a US$10Mpa business in 2 years. He was recruited by the World Bank through KPMG to head the Business Development Unit for its Africa Virtual University (AVU) project based in East Africa. During this time he met Ken and Co-founded Cellulant by providing strategic and financial support from a board position. He served as Country Director for Plan in Malawi and Tanzania and helped set up and oversee Cellulant operations in these two markets. Bolaji is a Pharmacy graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and holds a post-graduate certificate in management from Herriot Watt University in the UK. He is also an alumnus of the Oxford University Business Economics Program.
Co-founder and Group CEO of Cellulant Ken is a career entrepreneur. He co-founded 3Mice Interactive Media and helped grow it to a leading web development firm in East Africa. He led the Technology, Strategy and Solution Development teams as Solution Design Director responsible for conceptualizing and executing digital projects covering e-commerce, content management and e-business platforms for more than 50 regional blue chip customers. In 2000, Africa Online, the largest Pan-African Internet Service Provider at the time, acquired 3Mice. Ken has led Cellulant from a dream of two founders in 2003, with a plan sketched on a serviette, to a reputable mobile commerce firm in Africa. Ken began his higher education at the University of Nairobi, School of Pharmacy before switching careers to study Management of Information Systems at Strathmore University, in total pursuit of his passion for Connected Computing.
Co-Founder of Cellulant and CEO of Cellulant Nigeria Limited Bolaji was responsible for the implementation of the GES project, an agricultural subsidy program for the Federal Government of Nigeria that disbursed fertilizer & seed subsidies worth $1B to rural farmers.His experience in the agriculture sector has been a key asset in building up Agrikore, the blockchain powered smart-contract system for the agriculture value chain. He drove Sales and Marketing at Procter & Gamble, Nigeria, set up P&G, Ghana and served as Country Director where he grew the business from scratch to a US$10Mpa business in 2 years. He was recruited by the World Bank through KPMG to head the Business Development Unit for its Africa Virtual University (AVU) project based in East Africa. During this time he met Ken and Co-founded Cellulant by providing strategic and financial support from a board position. He served as Country Director for Plan in Malawi and Tanzania and helped set up and oversee Cellulant operations in these two markets. Bolaji is a Pharmacy graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and holds a post-graduate certificate in management from Herriot Watt University in the UK. He is also an alumnus of the Oxford University Business Economics Program.
Commodity Exchange Executive
Chukwuma brings on over 15 years’ public and private sector experience spanning audits, financial accounting, securities investment and taxation. He joined Cellulant Nigeria in 2012 to set up and run a functional finance function, and ensure records and reports are made to support business objectives. In 2015 he held fort briefly as Chief Operating Officer as the business transitioned to core payments and supported and continues to support business development efforts.
Chief Business Officer- Global Payments
David is a seasoned strategist and finance practitioner joining Cellulant from Syngenta E.A. He has been an integral part of managing the Cellulant’s expansion into various markets across Africa. He joined Cellulant Corporation in 2007 in Business Support Services then launched and led the Cellulant Zambia operations, building it to become the 3rd largest market within Cellulant’s multinational payment conglomerate. As Group Chief Strategy Officer, he is responsible for defining the commercial structure with customers while managing and executing new opportunities with existing & new customers.
Group Chief Finance Officer
Lanre is currently the Group CFO for Cellulant with primary responsibilities for overall finance functions, Business growth strategy, Business optimization as well as the lead for strategic external stakeholder’s engagement.
Prior to the current engagement Lanre has worked for Oracle Corporation as Regional Finance Director (responsible for Risk, Governance & Controls as well as regulatory and advocacy), The Coca-Cola Company and Cussons International (Paterson Zochonis Plc). He has had position of increasing responsibilities covering Major Countries and economies in Africa, Middle East region, East, Mid and Western Europe, Latin Americas, and the United State respectively.
Lanre is a consummate Finance & Strategy professional, with strong background in Business partnering and collaboration.
Lanre is a Fellow of the Institute of the Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, and an associate member of American institute of Internal Control. A graduate of Accounting with Masters in International Business.
Special Projects Executive
Milkah has vast experience gained at Deloitte. She joined Cellulant following the formation of the Group’s Shared Services Office to set up the group financial reporting structure, rose to Group Finance Manager then Group Chief Finance Officer. She has helped establish the group finance function and served as finance lead with the group management team in key business initiatives including the round two investor fundraising for the growth of group operations. Her role is to mature the group finance function, oversee long-term budgetary planning and ensure all programs are properly funded in alignment with Cellulant strategy.
Mohamed Faizal Hafiz
Chief Product Officer
Faizal is a seasoned technology practitioner with a strong background in software engineering alongside world-class expertise in high throughput transaction systems and new-age enterprise computing technologies. He joined Cellulant Group shortly after the Kenyan subsidiary opened and oversaw both software development and implementation until 2017. He had served as the chief technology officer and today leads our full circle technology loop from product ideation, till service management, and everything in between, ensuring speed of execution, and the best quality products. Faizal is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Natal, South Africa.
Chief Business Officer - Local Payments
Mumo is Sales & Marketing veteran with over 15 years’ experience in business development. He was Head of Marketing for EMC Canada then East Africa Sales Manager with DellEMC. He joined Cellulant in 2016 responsible for accelerating the growth of the four payment ecosystems through symbiotic partnerships with national and regional players.
Chief Finance Officer, Cellulant Nigeria
Oluwatoyin Aralepo is the Chief Financial Officer, Nigeria and Deputy Chief Finance Officer Cellulant group. Before joining Cellulant, Oluwatoyin held the position of the Financial Controller of Airtel Nigeria. Oluwatoyin is a first-class accounting graduate. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), Fellow of the Institute of Information Management of Africa and an Alumni of the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), with over 15 years of cognate work experience across Finance strategy and business partnering, financial planning, analysis and reporting, audit and business assurance, financial controls and governance. She is a very passionate and entrepreneurial role model to young women.
Finance operations is a huge part of Cellulant and her experience from the banking and telecoms industry will count in providing strategic financial leadership for the organization and as such will be able to manage and monitor the operations. She will run the largest marketplace and digital financial service platform for farmers in Nigeria and across Africa.
Group Chief People Officer
Samuel is a HR professional with over 18 years’ experience having worked in various positions across the African continent. He joined M-KOPA Limited (the global leader in pay-as-you-go solar for off grid households) in July 2016 as the Chief Human Resources Officer responsible for HR, Facilities, Fleet Management and Administration. In March 2013, Samuel joined the African Development Bank as Division Manager in Human Resources (based in Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire). Prior to that, he worked for Safaricom for 5 years in different roles and ended his stint with the Telco giant as Head of HR Operations. He started his career in April 2001 at Citibank NA where he held various positions rising to the position of Compensation and Benefits Manager for South and East Africa (based in South Africa).
Samuel has an MBA from Strathmore Business School, an Accounting Degree from Catholic University and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at the University of Liverpool. He has a Higher Diploma in Human Resources, CPA (K), CPS (K) and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development.
Group Chief Compliance Officer
Solomon Abiakalam leads the Compliance and Risk function. He is an experienced Compliance and Risk executive with international exposure and track record in the development and implementation of Compliance programs: AML/CFT, Anti- Fraud, Anti-Bribery & Corruption, Operational Risk, Ethics, Consumer Protection and Privacy. Solomon has 19 years cognate experience within Banking and Payments. He has had successful stints in Standard Chartered Bank as Executive Director responsible for Financial Crime Compliance across Nigeria and West Africa; HSBC as Vice President, Compliance and responsible Regulatory and Financial Crime Compliance across the banks relationships in West Africa; and MoneyGram International where he had compliance oversight over a network of over 150 financial institutions as Regional Compliance Officer responsible for English and Portuguese speaking Africa.
Solomon has led large, diverse and highly motivated teams to successfully implement multiple risk management initiatives across multiple jurisdictions. He constantly provides independent opinion or works as part of risk committees to assess risks associated with ventures, clients and even countries. He is familiar with the rigors of managing risks around complex financial products, within high risk geographies relating to Retail and Corporate clients. Solomon is highly experienced in managing risks that are related to payments as well as managing vast agent/partner networks. He is a Certified Anti- Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and holds an MBA. As an African and who has worked mostly within Sub-Saharan Africa, Solomon believes if the current economic order in Africa isn't radically disrupted, prosperity will remain elusive to the teeming poor on the continent. He is excited by the potential value that could be unlocked by connecting 700million mobile users to payments that power their everyday lives. For him, this is a mission- the business of prosperity and one he is proud associating with.
Country Manager, Cellulant Ghana
Albert ventured into Computer technology, became a Microsoft Certified Engineer, IT Technical consultant and Operations Manager at Cellucom Kenya and a Distinguished Member of Nokia Care Technical Staff. At Cellulant Kenya, his contributions in mobile innovation made him part of rolling out the first ever agency banking model in Kenya for Kenya Commercial Bank and the first and only Nigerian fertilizer Scheme; Growth Enhancement Scheme. His design concepts contributed immensely to transforming how subsidized inputs from Nigerian Government reach farmers and transformed the lives of 7.1 Million farmers within the first year and has grown Cellulant Ghana 10-fold.
Country Manager, Cellulant Mozambique
Gad, a seasonal business development expert has served at Kopo Kopo Inc. as Business Manager Africa across its six African markets. He worked with Equity Bank to launch the first Agency banking model and as a consultant accountant. Gad’s knowledge of technology in business spans 7 years across multiple disciplines and markets. He represents the alignment of technology, sales, business development and management and translates tech issues into everyday business language.
Gilbert H. Lungu
Country Manager, Cellulant Zambia
Gilbert is a seasoned sales professional with 10 years senior sales management experience. He has worked in computer software and hardware sales as well as corporate internet solutions sales. He was National Enterprise sales manager at MTN Zambia and most recently Head of enterprise sales at Airtel Zambia before joining Cellulant in 2017 to lead the Zambia team.
Country Manager, Cellulant Botswana
Hilda’s background is in Finance and she has extensive experience in business development, strategy development and execution. Hilda has been with Cellulant for the last ten years serving in different roles from Finance, Revenue Assurance and Head of Business Intelligence before relocating to Botswana in 2013. She currently oversees operations in Botswana and has been instrumental in setting up operations in Botswana (2013) and Mozambique (2015).
Chief Commercial Officer, Cellulant Nigeria
Oluwasanmi is a seasoned sales and business relationship manager with strong experience in sales, marketing and business development. His experience spans Telecommunications (FMCG) /Payment (Mobile Money) and the OEM (Devices) industry having has worked with industry giants like MTN and Samsung among others. He joined Cellulant to oversee business and commercial operations, responsible for the revenue growth and sustainability within the Nigerian business.
Country Manager, Cellulant Tanzania
Peter has worked in finance and accounting since 2007 and is passionate about using numbers and financial reporting excellence to propel business growth.
As Country Manager for Tanzania, he is focused on driving growth to achieve Cellulants Mission. It’s a game of numbers, gaining market share, exploring transformational opportunities in Fintech and delivering the very best to our consumers.
Princess M. Shamirah Kimbugwe
Country Manager, Cellulant Uganda
Shamirah is a financial technology strategist, experienced in digital finance, including working as Head of Mobile Banking and E–Payments with True African (U) and Kenya. She spearheaded the development and launch of a “mobile virtual wallet” used by over 100,000 unbanked or non telephony, to access formal financial services. At True African, she oversaw the development and deployment of "PayLeo" adopted by Barclays Bank as the payments platform outside traditional banking. As Head of Operations in M-Cash Uganda, she directed the activities of Agency Banking to DFCU Bank and Stanbic Bank, two of the top three banks in Uganda.