MasterCard has announced the appointment of Ike Kunene as vice-president of government solutions and services, and enterprise development in South Africa.

The appointment is in line with MasterCard’s ongoing commitment to strengthen its relationships with government and public sector organisations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

Based in Johannesburg, Kunene will lead the expansion of the company’s government business in South Africa by leveraging MasterCard capabilities to solve government’s needs for efficiency, social progress, financial inclusion and overall transparency.

Kunene’s key focus areas will include social grants, payroll disbursements, procurement, transit, and government receipts.

“MasterCard has been supporting governments around the world with electronic payment programmes that help save money and improve efficiencies.

“We have launched numerous initiatives with governments across the MEA region, including South Africa, that have not only streamlined their processes, but have also extended financial inclusion to citizens who have previously been vulnerable to the costs, risks and inconvenience associated with cash,” says Philip Panaino, division president of MasterCard, South Africa.

“With Ike’s vast experience in working with the public sector, we are confident that he will be instrumental in driving MasterCard’s vision of a world beyond cash by cementing partnerships with local government,” he says.

Kunene joins MasterCard from SoftwareAG, where he was vice-president for sales and country manager. Previously, he was central government lead for South Africa at Microsoft, and business development director for local government at SAP Africa.

Kunene is currently completing an MBA in strategic marketing at the University of Hull.