Ericsson to appoint new MEA head to replace veteran Rafiah Ibrahim

Ibrahim, who also serves as senior vice president, will take on a role as advisor to CEO Börje Ekholm

Global telecoms company Ericsson has announced that head of Middle East and Africa Rafiah Ibrahim will leave her position later this year.

Ibrahim, who also serves as senior vice president, will take on a role as advisor to CEO Börje Ekholm, the company announced in a statement.

Ibrahim has held her current position since April 1, 2017, and will assume her new role and leave the Ericsson executive team on August 31, 2019.

A recruitment process has been initiated to appoint a successor, the statement added.

Ibrahim joined Ericsson in 1996 and has held various managerial positions across the organisation, including the last five as the head of a region.

Börje Ekholm, president and CEO of Ericsson said: “Rafiah has been a very important leader in our sales and delivery organisation. In her latest assignment she successfully led the merger of two important markets, Middle East and Africa, increasing customer value and securing scale and efficiency as well as implementing a robust operational structure.”

Ericsson merged its Middle East and Africa business following a regional consolidation in 2017, when it also appointed a new head for the GCC region.

Currently, it is focussing on working with regional telecoms companies to roll-out 5G technology in the region.

In a report released last week, Ericsson said 5G is expected to reach 30 million subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by the end of 2024, representing 2 per cent of total mobile subscriptions.

“This will make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale”, according to the MEA edition of the Ericsson mobility report.

Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements.

The majority of the 5G subscriptions in the MEA are expected to come from markets such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar while in Africa, considerable momentum is building up in South Africa, the report said.

“The MEA region’s telecom market is characterised by increasing uptake of LTE and there is a high usage of apps. Therefore, significant growth is expected in data consumption together with large mobile broadband subscription addition,” it added.