Mobile World Live GSMA Intelligence

Director of Mobile for Development, Sub-Saharan Africa

Role type
Mobile for Development
Nairobi, Kenya
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GSMA – Our role in the mobile industry

The GSMA is the global industry association that helps shape the future of the mobile industry. Our mission is to act as a guiding beacon for the mobile industry, focusing on activities where collective action can deliver significant benefit. In order to achieve this, the GSMA concentrates on four main activities:

  • We provide strategic direction and thought leadership to our members
  • We drive collaborative industry programmes aimed at maintaining operator relevance in the digital world
  • We advocate for the industry to regulators, policy makers and society as a whole
  • We convene the broad mobile communications ecosystem at our industry leading events


Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.

The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

The GSMA is also established as a major inter-industry resource, partnering with industries across the mobile ecosystem in order to enable growth through mobile technologies, programmes and frameworks.

We act as a “think tank” for the mobile community focusing on strategic and policy initiatives that will impact the direction of the industry.

Our organisation engages with a wide range of governments, regulators and NGOs (such as The World Bank, UN and philanthropic organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to advocate for the mobile industry and develop the social and economic value of mobile for countries, regions and continents.

We convene the mobile industry at our leading events such as Mobile World Congress Americas, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress 360 Series and the world leading Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Please visit for a wealth of further information.


GSMA – Sub-Saharan Africa & Mobile for Development

The GSMA has a strong and growing presence in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, with a multi-disciplinary team of 25 staff spread across the region. Among the GSMA’s key activities in the region are Mobile for Development (M4D) initiatives, public policy engagements, management of regional interest groups and member services.

Our Mobile for Development (M4D) department is a dedicated global team within the GSMA, which brings together our mobile operator members, tech innovators, the development community and governments, to prove the power of mobile in emerging markets. We identify opportunities and deliver innovations with socio-economic impact in financial services, health, agriculture, digital identity, energy, water, sanitation, disaster resilience and gender equality.

To date our work has impacted 30 million lives across 49 countries. Mobile is the single technology which cuts across geographies, cultures and incomes levels and we expect the impact on emerging markets to grow exponentially.


Role Overview

Reporting in to the Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Mobile for Development Director - Africa plays an important role in the regional senior management team and leads a department of Mobile for Development professionals based in the region.

The M4D Director will be tasked with identifying opportunities for social, economic and environmental impact to stimulate the development of scalable, life-enhancing mobile services in the Sub-Saharan Africa region

The Director and his/her team will implement the GSMA’s Mobile for Development programmes and strategy regionally across eight global initiatives to deliver innovations in financial services, health, agriculture, digital identity, energy, water, sanitation, disaster resilience and gender equality.


Role Specification

  • Together with the Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, build GSMA and M4D's work across the region and identify opportunities for new engagement and for broadening M4D engagement


  • Build strong relationships with key partner organisations operating in region and work closely with mobile operators to ensure strong support for M4D activities


  • Work closely with M4D Programme Leads in our London HQ to ensure programme strategy is fit for purpose in region


  • Responsible for leading regional Mobile for Development (M4D) activities, accountable for programme delivery in region against HQ KPIs and member expectations


  • Foster the necessary consultation, communications and good relations within the wider organisation, including staff of member organisations


Person Specification

  • You will likely come from a background in international development, having gained significant experience in one or more of the following fields:


  • NGO, foundation, trade/aid organisation
  • Development projects within a mobile network operator, OTT organisation or other ICT player
  • Governmental body focussed on development


  • You will therefore be able to demonstrate a very strong understanding of both development and the ICT/telecoms industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the purpose and work of the GSMA


  • You will be used to the structure of a matrixed, international organisation and will have a track record of performing collaboratively across departments and geographies.


  • You are able to work co-operatively and flexibly with stakeholders and facilitate collaborative approach


  • You will be a proven strategic thinker who is able to generate new ideas, insights and approaches. You will be able to reconcile strategic imperatives with operational deliverables.


  • You will have outstanding leadership & managerial skills and demonstrate maturity, humility and cultural awareness


  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills, experience writing and delivering impactful presentations to senior stakeholders and are able to communicate at all levels


  • You benefit from solid financial management experience with a proven track record of managing and large budgets


You must have the right to work in Kenya to be considered for this position.