Liquid Telecom appoints CEO for Middle East and West Africa

11 January 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Liquid Telecom has appointed Mohamed Abdel Bassit as its new regional CEO for the Middle East and West Africa (MEWA).

Based in Cairo, Bassit started his role from January 1, 2019, and oversees the group’s expansion further into MEWA following the recent news that it is investing $400 million in the Egyptian market.

Bassit will also explore new market opportunities in West Africa as Liquid Telecom begins expanding its service offering into the region. The regional CEO of MEWA is a new position within Liquid Telecom and forms part of the group’s wider digital transformation strategy.

“The MEWA region is home to some of the fastest growing economies in Africa and we are delighted to bring on-board Mohamed Abdel Bassit to help accelerate our expansion into these markets,” said Ahmad Mokhles, Group chief operating officer at Liquid Telecom, who joined the pan-African telco in July 2018. “He is a highly experienced telecoms executive with extensive local knowledge that will help guide us to success in these regions.”

Bassit brings more than 20 years of experience in the ICT industry spanning sales, business operation and product development, outsourcing and establishing partnerships. He joins Liquid Telecom from Orange Group, where he served as regional director for voice, data and mobile services in the Middle East for the past year. Pierre-Louis de Guillebon confirmed with Capacity this week that he had left his role as CEO of Orange International Carriers.

Prior to this, he served as VP of operations for Gulf Bridge International [GBI appointed Cengiz Oztelcan as its new CEO in November], and prior to that spent 10 years as managing director for Middle East and North Africa at Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS), where he helped establish the company as a leading regional voice and mobility services carrier.

“I am excited to be a part of Liquid Telecom’s expansion into new markets across the Middle East and West Africa. There is enormous potential to connect many of these countries to our extensive pan-African fibre network, bringing new competition and helping to develop the local telecoms ecosystem,” said Mohamed Abdel Bassit, regional CEO for MEWA at Liquid Telecom.

Liquid Telecom has also recently completed the first pan-African terrestrial fibre network, which is 60,000km long, stretching from Cape Town to Cairo. "We’ve been working on it, expanding our network and we’re really excited that it’s now reached fruition. It’s an historic moment that we can say that there is a single fibre network that you can terrestrially run from Cape Town to Cairo," Nic Rudnick enthusiastically told Capacity in an exclusive interview last year.

Other Liquid Telecom appointments over the past year include:

  • Adil Youssefi as new regional CEO of East Africa, overseeing five key markets in the region: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia;
  • Wellington Makamure as new regional CEO of Southern Africa. He is directly responsible for the leadership, strategic and operational management of Liquid Telecom’s wholesale, enterprise and retail businesses throughout Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana;
  • Stephane Duproz as the new chief operatig officer of Africa Data Centres (ADC); and
  • Reshaad Sha as CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa.

2018 was a very busy year for Liquid Telecom, which also saw them complete a Zambian acquisition, secure $180 million of equity investment from UK financial development firm CDC Group, and partner with China Telecom Global for Asia and Africa services, to name just a few stories.