Yolanda Cuba, MTN Group chief digital and fintech officer. Picture: SUPPLIED
Yolanda Cuba, MTN Group chief digital and fintech officer. Picture: SUPPLIED

MTN, Africa's biggest mobile operator,  on Wednesday announced the appointment of former Vodacom Ghana CEO Yolanda Cuba as group chief digital and fintech officer, as the company continues its push to diversify its revenue base beyond the voice business. 

Cuba will lead the strategic expansion of MTN's financial services and digital solutions effort as well as its transformation into a digital operator, the company said. 

Last week, group CEO Rob Shuter told Business Day MTN is positioning itself for a future in which its voice business will no longer be its bread and butter.

MTN makes about 59% of its revenue from voice, a number set to decline as people increasingly switch  to internet services such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime to make voice calls. The group estimates that voice revenue will continue to drop by about 2% a year. 

Shuter said MTN needs 90% of its revenue to come from financial, digital, wholesale and business-to-business services. MTN wants digital and fintech to make up at least 15% of revenues over the next few years. 

Earlier in July, MTN announced a plan to offer life insurance products in partnership with Sanlam. 

“This role gives me the opportunity to drive digital innovation and financial inclusion across the group’s vast footprint,” Cuba said.

She joins MTN from Vodacom, where she served as chief officer of strategy and M&A and previously as head of its Ghana unit.

Cuba comes into a role previously held by now EOH CEO Stephen van Coller who was MTN’s group vice-president for digital services until August 2018. 

“We are very pleased to bring an executive of Yolanda’s calibre into MTN Group,”  Shuter said in a statement.

He described Cuba as having “a unique combination of operational telecommunications experience as well as finance, financial services and digital skills”.

Cuba's start date in the role is yet to be announced. 

gavazam@businesslive.co.za