Fernando de Sousa
General Manager – Africa Initiatives
Biography: Fernando has 30 years of experience in ICT across four continents, having
first joined Microsoft in 1992 as a Technical Manager in South Africa. He established
the first Services team in that country, and then became General Manager for Services
across Africa, India and the Middle East. For his next challenge, he moved to Greater
China in 1995 to become Director of Enterprise Sales and Marketing, including developer
relations. In 1998, he moved once again to Dubai, where he ran the Enterprise and
Partner Group, Services and Server & Tools Marketing for Middle East and North Africa.
Fernando left Microsoft in 2001 to run a start-up in the RFID space, and returned
again in 2005 to Istanbul as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Microsoft Middle
East & Africa (MEA). As part of this role, Fernando was responsible for developing
the company’s non-commercial strategy for Africa, and in 2007, he became the Business
Marketing & Operations lead for MEA. In 2009, Fernando became the Chief Operating
Officer for Microsoft Saudi Arabia, responsible for all sales, marketing and services
in the Kingdom. In 2012, Fernando returned home to Africa to lead the company’s
investment initiatives for the Continent. Outside of Microsoft, he has held roles
spanning systems & networking, data centre management, systems programming, project
management and applications development in South Africa, the USA, Japan and the
Personal passions: Fernando was once a race car driver and is still passionate about
all things automotive. He is also passionate about developing people’s careers and
talents, having done personal studies in global human resources management and emerging
Education: Fernando studied computer science at Witwatersrand University in South
Africa. He holds a Human Resources Practices Management Diploma from Cornell University
and is currently working towards a MSc in Global HR Management from the University
Regional Director, Business Development & Strategy for Microsoft Africa
Biography: Louis joined Microsoft in 1997 as Country Manager for Kenya, helping
drive one of the highest growth rates for Microsoft subsidiaries worldwide. In 2002,
he became the Director for Business Operations & Marketing in WCA (West & Central
Africa), a position he held until 2004 when he moved to become Director of Enterprise
Sales in WECA. In 2007, Louis was promoted to General Manager, East & Southern Africa,
responsible for sales, marketing, services and business development across 15 countries.
In that role, he also served as part of the leadership team for WECA and the Indian
Ocean Islands. Louis lists many accomplishments in his overall career but most notable
is the lead role he played in the localization of Microsoft Office & Windows into
Kiswahili – a first for an African language - which paved way for the extension
of the localization program into seven other African languages. Before joining Microsoft,
Louis was a developer and rose to become Vice President, Information Systems at
EEC Financial Services Inc, a firm based in New York & New Jersey, USA.
Industry associations: Louis serves on the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board as well
as the Enablis East Africa Board. He is also a member of a select group of CEOs
in the IGD Frontier 100 program, an advisor to the Presidential Investor’s Round
table in Uganda and Tanzania, as well as in the Presidential ICT round table in
Mozambique. In addition, he is a member of the East Africa Business Summit and served
as chair of the American Business Association in Kenya in 2005.
Personal passions: Louis’ passion is ICT for development. He firmly believes that
Africa risks alienation unless it fully embraces ICT & ICT embraces Africa.
Education: Louis is an alumni of Lenana School in Nairobi and is a graduate of Mercy
College in New York where he obtained his BSc in Computer Science. He also holds
an MBA from Long Island University in New York.
General Manager, West, East & Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands (WECA and
Nationality: South African
Biography: With responsibility for 49 countries, more than 300 staff and a partner
network of more than 2,000 who develop, sell, deploy and support Microsoft’s solutions,
Hennie is responsible for one of the most exciting and dynamic businesses on the
African continent. He has worked in the South Africa Microsoft subsidiary, firstly
as Services Director and later as Enterprise and Partner Group Director. Prior to
taking his current role, Hennie was based at Microsoft headquarters in the United
States where he worked as Business Manager to the corporate vice president for the
World Wide Enterprise and Partner Group.
Personal passions: Hennie is an avid golfer, cyclist and photographer and enjoys
reading diverse sources on philosophy and psychology.
Education: Hennie has a Masters of Commerce in Computer Science from the Rand Afrikaans
WECA Countries: Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Niger, Guinea, Cape
Verde, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Mali, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo,
Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Sao Tome & Principe, Chad, St. Helena,
Angola, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mali, Rwanda,
Ethiopia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana
IOI countries: Mauritius, Reunion, New Caledonia, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mayotte,
Republic of Djibouti, Comoros Islands, French Polynesia
General Manager, North Africa, Eastern Mediterranean & Pakistan (NEPA)
Biography: Sayed Hashish leads global sales, marketing and services for Microsoft
North Africa, Eastern Mediterranean & Pakistan (NEPA). His leadership reflects Microsoft’s
core values and dedication to serving citizens, businesses and communities in the
region. He has a deep personal commitment to people development, improving citizen
services and growing customer and partner satisfaction, all of which results from
long-term and trust-based relationships. Sayed spearheads the delivery of Microsoft's
innovative technologies and local partnerships in NEPA, which are transforming education,
fostering local innovation and creating employment opportunities. These activities
help fuel a continuous cycle of sustained social and economic development in the
He previously served as Enterprise and Partner Group (EPG) Director for Microsoft
NEPA. In his role, he was responsible for building a strong organization and developing
strategic long term plan to grow the Microsoft business sustainably in the region.
Throughout his 19 year career in the IT industry, Sayed has held different technical,
sales and managerial roles in different parts of the Middle East with companies
like IBM and NCR before joining Microsoft in 1998 as the financial services sales
manager for Egypt. He later served as Communications Sector lead, Solutions Team
Unit and Developer Platform Evangelist manager and EPG director before joining NEPA
Personal passions: In his spare time, Sayed enjoys deep sea fishing and spending
time with his wife and two children.
Education: Sayed holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the American University
NEPA (African coverage) Countries: Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya
Eric Odipo, General Manager, East & Southern Africa (ESA)
Biography: Eric Odipo was named Country Manager for Microsoft ESA in September 2012.
Immediately prior to this, he was the Channel Lead for the business and was responsible
for building and overseeing a scalable and dynamic Microsoft partner ecosystem across
15 countries in the region. With 22 years of experience in multiple industries ranging
from motoring to fast moving consumer goods and technology, Eric is well versed
in business development and corporate management. Eric is a trained engineer and
before joining Microsoft, he worked for Sara Lee for 7 years in various capacities
and moved on to become the Managing Director for Central and East Africa. Prior
to that, he was at General Motors East Africa Limited for 11 years having joined
the company as a graduate Engineer and leaving as a Marketing Manager. The transition
from technical to Sales and Marketing, coupled with vast experience across multi-country
environments has helped him build strong industry knowledge.
Industry associations: Eric is a member of Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK).
Personal passions: Eric believes that technology is the game changer in the world
of business today and can play a big role in helping ordinary people advance themselves
Education: Eric graduated from Moi University Eldoret in 1990 with an Engineering
ESA Countries: Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia,
South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe Year MS operations in Namibia began:
Managing Director, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Biography: Since joining Microsoft South Africa in September 2008, Mteto has emerged
as a strong and articulate advocate for the use of technology to address government’s
service delivery challenges, to improve educational outcomes and to make businesses
of all sizes more productive and profitable. Mteto has been the driving force behind
Microsoft’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Programme, which will see the
company spend R500m to grow small black-owned software companies over the next seven
years. He believes strongly in employee engagement and empowerment, which is evident
in Microsoft South Africa topping Deloitte’s Best Company to Work for Survey in
2010 and 2012 as well as being named the CRF Institute’s Best Employer in 2011.
At the Oliver Empowerment Awards 2012, Microsoft South Africa was also recognized
as the Top Empowered Multinational Company in South Africa. Before joining Microsoft,
Mteto spent 12 years at IBM, where he held a series of senior executive roles.
Industry associations: Mteto currently serves on the Board of the South African
Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as on the American Chamber of Commerce
Personal passions: Mteto was named as one of the Yale University’s World Fellows
on Global Leadership in 2004, which sparked a keen and abiding interest in the discipline
of leadership, both in society and at a corporate level. He is involved in several
leadership initiatives in South Africa, including the Albert Luthuli Centre for
Responsible Leadership at the University of Pretoria, and has written extensively
on the subject. Outside of work, his interests include cycling, travelling, writing,
reading and coaching.
Education: Mteto matriculated from St John’s College in Umtata in 1980. In 1982,
he was given a scholarship by Afrox to study Mechanical Engineering, and achieved
a BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Natal in 1985.
Year Microsoft operations began in South Africa: 1992
General Manager, Anglophone West Africa
Biography: Emmanuel has served as General Manager for Anglophone West Africa since
2007, assuming overall responsibility for Microsoft’s commercial and corporate citizenship
activities in Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Emmanuel has more
than 20 years of experience working in Nigeria’s growing technology sector. He has
also served as General Manager for Microsoft West and Central Africa, and various
positions as the services manager for Microsoft in Nigeria. His experience outside
of Microsoft includes that of CIO for one of the largest Nigerian banks, and as
an executive at Resourcery one of Nigeria’s leading system integrators.
Personal passions: Emmanuel is very fond of traveling around the world with his
family and is passionate about living a true digital lifestyle. He and his family
live a very “connected” lifestyle at home or while traveling. Education: Emmanuel
holds a B.Eng. Electronics and Communication Engineering from the University of
Year MS operations in Nigeria began: 2000
General Manager, Indian Ocean Islands and French Pacific (IOI & FP)
Biography: Paul Bunting was appointed Country Manager at Microsoft IOI & FP in 2011
at the age of 35 years old, thus becoming one of the youngest Country Managers at
Microsoft. Paul joined the IOI & FP team in 2004 and served in 5 different sales
roles before becoming Country Manager.
Paul began his career at Xerox UK Ltd as Business Development Executive and worked
for a year before moving to Mauritius in 1999 where he became a Digital Specialist
for Xerox (Harel Mallac Ltd.). After Xerox, he served as a Sales Manager at Kasa
Textiles industry and as General Manager of the Harel Mallac Training Institute
before joining Microsoft.
Paul stayed in Mauritius and became a Mauritian national because he fell in love
with this small piece of land and with a local woman who he married and had two
daughters. Paul speaks French and Creole fluently and has fully embraced the Mauritius
Industry associations: Paul serves as the official Microsoft representative to the
Mauritius IT Industry Association (MITIA).
Personal passions: Paul is passionate about his family, rugby, skiing, power boating,
his local Round Table Association, reading and technology gadgets.
Education: Paul holds a B.Sc. Joint Hons, Computer Science IT with Psychology from
University College Chester.
Year MS operations in Mauritius began: 1998
Year MS operations in Reunion began: 2001
IOI countries: Mauritius, Reunion, New Caledonia, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mayotte,
Republic of Djibouti, Comoros Islands, French Polynesia
General Manager, West & Central Africa (WCA)
Biography: Simon Ouattara is the country manager of Microsoft West and Central Africa,
a position he has held since July 2011. He joined Microsoft in 2001 as an infrastructure
consultant. Shortly after that he was given the responsibility of managing the services
business in WCA. He held various roles in services focused on the WCA region, and
then, as delivery practice manager, Simon looked after three of the four WECA sub-regions
including Nigeria, WCA and IOI. Before joining Microsoft, Simon worked for Unisys
as development engineer for ATM systems, at DHL as support engineer for 13 countries
and also at CIE, an electricity company in Ivory Coast, as deputy CIO in charge
of systems and networks.
Personal passions: Simon is passionate about technology and believes that this is
the fastest way to give life to Africa’s development dreams.
Education: Simon holds an Engineering degree in Computer Science as well as a Masters
in Engineering and Management of Telecommunications Networks from Institut National
des Telecommunications in Paris.
Year MS operations in Ivory Coast began: 1996
Year MS operations in Senegal began: 2006
WCA Countries: Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso,
Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic, Saint Helena
Country Manager, Morocco
Biography: After completing his studies, Samir worked as a consultant in the industrial
information technology field in Indianapolis, Indiana and in Rochester, New York
for leading companies such as Cummins Engines, United Technologies, Bausch and Lomb,
and Toshiba. Samir has 16 years of experience in ICT and franchising across many
countries, having first joined Microsoft Morocco in 1998 as OEM manager for North
and West Africa covering 23 countries. He was later promoted to manage the Small
Business and Partners group for North Africa. Samir then moved to leadership roles
as a Business Development Manager and then Country Manager of Microsoft Algeria
in 2001, then of Microsoft Bahrain in 2002. In 2006, Samir followed his passion
for franchising and entrepreneurship, taking a break from Microsoft to start a Century
21 real estate franchise in Morocco, opening 23 branches in 9 different cities.
In 2010, Samir established Morocco's prestigious “Arsenal Soccer School” in Casablanca
training young footballers and creating a new approach to football and professionalism
in this national sport. Since returning to Microsoft in 2011 as Country Manager,
Samir has driven many initiatives around e-government services, e-banking and the
development of a national education strategy.
Industry associations: During his tenure with Microsoft in Bahrain, Samir was elected
President of the American Chamber of Commerce and contributed to the Free Trade
Agreement between the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain. He also serves the
CGEM Commission of Ethics and Compliance, the American Chamber of Commerce and Start-Up
Weekend, and as a Board Member of APEBI (NTIC Association).
Personal passions: Samir loves soccer which led him to create Arsenal Soccer School
in Morocco. He is very passionate about team work and developing people’s careers
and talents, especially young talent.
Education: Samir Benmakhlouf Holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s degree in
Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from the University of South Florida
and a Ph.D. in Industrial Automation and Management from North Carolina State University.
Year MS operations in Morocco began: 1993
Khaled Abdel Kader
General Manager, Egypt
Biography: As General Manager of Microsoft Egypt, Khaled’s role is to lead the company’s
efforts to define a new era of success and future growth for Egypt, and to contribute
in a meaningful way to the country’s social and economic development.
Before becoming Egypt GM, Khaled served as Public Sector Director, working to support
the Egyptian government in its efforts to use ICT as a catalyst for social and economic
growth, and working with various NGOs to provide opportunities for youth and local
communities through technology. In this role, Khaled was also actively involved
in growing internal talent and ensuring proper development plans were in place to
enable the Microsoft team to stay one step ahead of market demands.
Previously, Khaled served as Academic Programs Manager, working with the education
sector and leading Microsoft’s local efforts including Partners in Learning and
various projects with the European Commission, USAID, UNESCO and the World Bank.
Industry associations: Khaled served as a Member of European Commission and World
Bank education steering committee that planned and approved various projects in
Personal passions: Khaled was a member of the Egyptian volleyball national team
which qualified for the Olympics in Atlanta, USA. In addition, he was a member in
the wining team of the African Sports Championship that took place in Zimbabwe in
1995 and 1996. In addition to his passion for sports, his main focus currently is
to provide hope and opportunity to create a better future for youth in Egypt.
Education: Khaled holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomechanics from Hellwan University,
Year MS operations in Egypt began: 1995
General Manager, Tunisia
Biography: Mohamed started his career as a software developer and IT consultant
in Europe where he developed a deep technical background in distributed systems,
B2B integration and mobile solutions. While working for Samsung, he acted as a technical
lead managing a team of consultants and a near-shore development team and helped
develop industrial e-marketplace, supply chain automation and B2B order management
solutions. He also served as CTO for a North African emerging SI, relocating to
Tunisia to develop the company’s technical strategy and to define its operational
models and P&L. In 2002, he joined the Microsoft Services team in North Africa during
which he worked on national, regional and international deployments and was recognized
for business and people growth, key deals and competitive wins, and top customer
and partner satisfaction scores. In September 2011, Mohammed became the leader for
Industry associations: Mohamed serves as an elected board member of IACE, the Arab
Institute of Business Managers, and of Symboles, a civil society association promoting
progress in a post-revolutionary Tunisia. He also serves as President of the Tunisian
Economic Information Center and as a board member of PNB-NAPEO Tunisia, “Partners
of New Beginning - North Africa Partners for Economic Opportunity.” He is a member
of INFOTICA, the association of Tunisian IT companies, and of the Tunisian American
Chamber of Commerce.
Personal passions: Mohamed is married with two daughters. He is a passionate supporter
of the Tunisian “Club Africain,” a multi-disciplinary sports club, and also of the
city of Kairouan, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and his home town. He also loves
tourism, swimming and history readings.
Education: Mohamed holds a BSCS and a MS in Communication Systems and Networks from
University Tunis Manar Faculty of Sciences.
Year MS operations in Tunisia began: 1999
General Manager, Algeria
Biography: Mourad joined Microsoft in 1999. After seven years with Microsoft France,
where he held different roles in Services and the Enterprise & Partners Group (EPG),
Mourad joined the Middle East and Africa team in 2006 to lead the Services business
for Microsoft in North Africa. In 2007, he took on the role of Services Lead of
the newly created North Africa, Eastern Mediterranean and Pakistan (NEPA) region.
In 2010, Mourad transitioned to lead the EPG group for NEPA, and then transitioned
in April 2011 to the role of Country Manager for Algeria.
Education: Mourad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Paris-6 University
and Ecole des Mines de Paris.
Year MS operations in Algeria began: 2002
General Manager, Libya
Biography: Khalid joined Microsoft in April 2010 from the telecom technology industry,
where he started his career with Scadacom, holding several positions including operations
manager, key account manager, and country manager. He was in charge of project operations
for North Africa, area sales & marketing, and country manager for Morocco. Khalid
moved in 2004 to AET Libya as sales & marketing manager, where he was in charge
of developing the business, positioning the company’s services and products, and
driving sales. He grew AET’s business by a factor of 22 during his tenure. His strong
business acumen, customer centricity approach, as well as his passion for people
will be instrumental in taking Microsoft Libya to the next level of success.
Personal passions: In his free time, Khalid enjoys listening to music and swimming.
Education: Khalid holds a BScs in Electronics and Computer Engineering from the
University of Tripoli Libya.
Year MS operations in Libya began: 2007
General Manager, Angola & Mozambique
Biography: César joined Microsoft in November 2012 from HP where he was the Managing
Director in Angola. Prior to HP, he held various sales and business positions at
Alcatel Lucent in Angola and with Siemens and Lucent Technologies in Portugal, and
a number of other ICT providers.
Personal passions: César is the proud father of two, loves reading, playing tennis
and off-road driving.
Education: César holds a degree in IT from Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa.
Year MS operations in Angola began: 2012
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