Conviction is key
Finweek English|5 November 2021
Sandy Rheeder plays a critical role in Mukuru’s mission to open up financial services to the emerging consumer market in Africa through tailor-made technology solutions and platforms.
Wouter Kriel

With her skills of deconstructing complex IT challenges into its basic component parts, together with her personal journey with the Mukuru founders, Sandy Rheeder finds herself in the position of chief information officer (CIO) at Mukuru.

Mukuru is a fintech company that provides financial services to the emerging consumer in Africa. The company started out by facilitating money flows for traditionally unbanked individuals into and across the continent’s borders. Today Mukuru’s orange booths are part of the landscape in several African nations, and it is providing additional retail services such as Mukuru Groceries, Funeral Cover and the Mukuru Money Card.

“Although I officially joined Mukuru five years ago as business architect, I was involved right from the start as my then future husband and one of the founders of Mukuru studied at Rhodes University at the same time I was there,” Rheeder says.

“Mukuru’s founders were living in the UK in the early 2000s when Zimbabwe was going through a very difficult period. Fuel basically dried up, and the university group of friends were trying to develop a system of sending fuel vouchers from the UK to family back home. It was practically impossible to send money back home, and this was the problem that gave birth to Mukuru in 2004,” Rheeder says.

After completing her degree at Rhodes, Rheeder went on to work for 16 years as an IT consultant. She says her ability to take complex problems and break them down into its component parts, and then understand how they interact, were honed in those years. “IT systems tend to snowball into complexity as you get them into code. If you can find the simplest solution at the design level, chances are good your technology solution will be manageable.

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