Eddie Ndichu will be Opera’s Managing Director/Vice President for Fintech Africa starting today. Formerly serving as the Head of Digital Service & Mobile Payments at KCB Bank Group, Mr Ndichu has gained key skills in group-wide strategic direction, leading to the formulation and deployment of an integrated fintech and business model.
His new role at Opera will encompass the development of micro-lending, remittances, payments and transaction capabilities using improved technologies in mobile and the Internet.
“For years Opera has been invested in bringing fast and affordable internet access for all. For this reason, I am honoured to be part of the team that seeks to grow together with the African internet ecosystem, thus we are seeking local partners to integrate value-added services, fintech products and data bundling into its browser platform,” says Mr Ndichu at his appointment.
The Oslo-based firm has also used the appointment to open a Kenyan office that will serve as East Africa’s hub. Some of its plans include hiring 100 African over the next 3 years, who will be trained on web development to spur the growth Opera’s products via artificial intelligence engine for smartphones to ensure content delivery.
At the same time, Opera will invest up to $100 million USD over the next two years to facilitate the growth of African digital economy. This move will use investments in heightening internet penetration and adoption, as well as strengthening the internet ecosystem with local partners.
Consumers will have a platform to access quality content and services, and the ability to transact more easily on smart handhelds using products such as Opay that we highlighted a couple of weeks ago.
“Africa is on its way to transform itself into the digital continent with the rapid adoption of mobile internet. For the past five years, the Opera Mini browser has been a key facilitator in bringing more than half of Africa’s internet population online by featuring tools for lowering data costs” Mr Ndichu added.