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Sierra Leone News: Africell is shaped by traditional Salone values – CEO

Chief Executive Officer of Africell Shadi Al-Gerjawi said their operation is shaped by traditional Sierra Leone values, placing the communities in which they operate at the heart of their business. Al-Gerjawi said that working in Sierra Leone is a dream come true and they believe in the government and people. He said Africell is a well established company that believes in working in an environment that is geared towards development. “The company was established in Gambia in 2001 and started operations in Sierra Leone in 2005. Our core strategy is to connect and empower local communities. Africell’s current portfolio spans across West, Central, and East Africa namely Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone.” He said since 2005 they have grown to become the first operator with 75% market share by end of 2016. As with Africell Sierra Leone, the secret recipe behind this success was a strategy of aggressive marketing and network roll-out. “Aside from the growth in the subscriber base, Africell Sierra Leone’s major success was in winning the hearts and minds of the people in record time and to become an inherent part of the Sierra Leonean society.” Al-Gerjawi said during the course of the last five years, Africell Sierra Leone has become the GSM operator with the highest growth both as a percentage of subscriber base and in terms of increase in number of subscribers reaching 3.4 million by end of 2016. He said Africell Sierra Leone received the AWOL (All Works Of Life) award for “Telecoms Company of the year” in 2008 and 2009 and 2011. The CEO averred that Africell is one of the fastest-growing mobile telecommunications operators in Africa today. With a total of more than 12 million active subscribers, Africell he reiterated continues to expand their service portfolio by offering voice, 3G and 4G services with a multitude of technology-enabled value-added services (VAS), mobile money, micro insurance and microcredit services, with a plan to introduce new services in affordable solar power solutions. “Africell has always wanted to implement more than just a regular Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) program. The core logic behind Africell’s CSR programs was to come up with customized initiatives which revolve around local communities, sharing their lives and dealing with the issues that are important to everyday people. As we have grown the business since the year 2000 by listening to our customers, we have also aimed to make a difference in their lives.”  He said they believe everyone has the right to communicate, whatever their circumstance.  They have a deep-rooted and long-term ambition to help democratize mobile telephony in Africa through continuous innovation and by giving back to the communities which have so richly rewarded us.   “Africell actively promotes health awareness campaigns including: breast cancer, proper hygiene measures, and AIDS prevention: The Breast Cancer awareness campaign was done in conjunction with the Thinking Pink Breast Cancer Foundation through the organization of an annual marathon. Africell sponsored clinics in rural remote areas promoting universal access to health facilities.” Shadi said Africell participated in the effort to fight infant malaria through the regular distribution of mosquito nets and supported the fight against the cholera outbreak over the years. He said they supported the fight against ebola virus through the launch of the “one Leone per minute” campaign, which resulted in 50,000 kg of rice distributed so far and 50,000 kg that continued every month until the end of the outbreak. Shadi said they will not relent to give back to the Sierra Leone society, as they will continue to organize different raffle programs, continue to support the health, and education sector. He said the just concluded Housemates is an indication of their commitment to promote entertainment and empower the youths. “Africell is here to stay and we are here to make sure every part of Sierra Leone is connected to the world with cheaper and quality network as well as good phones that are affordable to all. These phones we are selling for Le50,000 that everyone can afford.”

AT/16/4/19

Wednesday April 17, 2019.

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