By Lamin Cham
Pan-African mobile company Africell Group continues to spread its wings in Africa with a new network license, this time in Southern Africa.
The Group’s newest operation is in Angola, its fifth in Africa. In the past year the company has also moved its headquarters to London, UK, reflecting its ever-growing strategic position as a major international investor in Africa focused in the GSM sector.
“We are excited to demonstrate to our investors in the West how advancement in telecommunication in Africa is both achievable and desirable,” said Africell Group’s chief investment officer and board member Ian Peterson, who is currently visiting The Gambia.
“Africell’s story began in the Gambia 20 years ago, so the success story of Africell as a Group has an inherently Gambian flavour. Almost all our current CEOs across our operations in Africa worked in the Gambian chapter, meaning that lessons learned in Gambia have informed operations across the continent”.
According to Africell, experience earned in its Gambian operation will directly impact the Group’s historic launch in Angola, because even though Angola is a far bigger and more populated country, it is in many ways not technically as advanced in GSM as The Gambia.
Expanding on Ian Paterson’s remarks, newly installed CEO of Africell Gambia, Hussein Diab Ghanem, (Sine) said that Africell’s Gambian chapter has managed to maintain its high standards and even record a massive expansion despite the challenges of Covid-19. Africell managed to increase cell sites across the country and pioneered a roll-out of innovative Smart Rural Sites which provided dozens of rural communities with cell sites powered by clean solar energy, in addition to upgrading the 4G and 3G services.
“Africell’s success in The Gambia and elsewhere is grounded in its philosophy of integrating with the people from the top to the ordinary people in the villages and towns. We have brand ambassadors in all Gambian communities and are easily the biggest GSM company in the country with over 1.6million subscribers and counting,” Sine said.
Sam Williams, Africell’s Group Communications Director, explained that the company’s communication strategy is based on openness and transparency. He praised the work of Musa Sise (Director of Corporate Affairs) and his team in the Gambia, citing the company’s close relations with Gambian media which has inspired greater understanding of what Africell does.