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MTN said to appoint new Ghana CEO

Amid Africa management shuffle.

MTN Group, Africa’s largest wireless operator, has appointed the head of its Rwanda unit Ebenezer Asante to run the company’s Ghanaian operations, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Asante will move to the West African country after the unit’s previous chief executive officer Serame Taukobong resigned, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the appointment hasn’t been announced. MTN will hire an internal candidate to replace Asante in Rwanda, according to the person. Ghana is Johannesburg-based MTN’s fourth-biggest market in terms of subscriber numbers, after Nigeria, South Africa and Iran.

MTN spokesman Chris Maroleng declined to comment. MTN Ghana spokeswoman Georgina Asare Fiagbenu also declined to comment, while a call to MTN Rwanda wasn’t put through to Asante.

MTN, which had about 228 million subscribers across 22 countries as of March 31, is shuffling management for the second time in less than a year as it seeks to generate more revenue from its smaller markets. The company is battling regulatory pressure and tough competition in Nigeria and South Africa. The shares traded 1.1 percent higher at 233.39 rand as of 11:41 am in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R431 billion ($36 billion).

Asante previously worked for MTN Ghana as a sales and distribution executive and helped to more than double its customer base to 9.9 million in the five years through 2013, according to the company’s website. The unit now has about 14.2 million subscribers, compared with 3.9 million in Rwanda.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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