Why the CEO of Kenya's largest telecommunications firm thinks university education is not everything

Collymore was offered a place at Warwick University, but had to turn it down

Prior to his appointment to the role, Bob held several top-level positions at various corporates including Vodafone UK and British Telecom (BT).

And with all the breadth of experience at these firms, one would tend to think that he has exceptional education credentials to match it up — but that is not the case.

Mr Collymore did not attend university. Upon leaving Selhurst High School, he was offered a place at Warwick University, but had to turn it down as he was ineligible for funding.

He however thinks that university education isn't the only way to success arguing that there is a lot more to learn in the outside world.


"There tends to be a lot of reliance on paper qualification. We stuff ourselves into universities, then we come out and there is very little difference between us and all the other people who also did the same," Collymore said in an interview with The Standard newspaper.

The 60-year-old said it is easier getting resources to keep up to speed with the advancement of new technology instead of relying on the 'old things' learnt in college.

"In this industry and many others, if you are not a learning treadmill, you will be left behind very rapidly. The advances that we are seeing in technology such as in artificial intelligence, robotics - I do not have to go to school to learn about it," he said.

Mr Collymore is eyeing a quick return to the helm of Safaricom after taking an extended medical leave to receive specialised treatment abroad.


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