The Africell Group yesterday formalised the contract with the Government of Angola to become the country’s fourth global telecommunications operator and start offering services later this year.
Africell has announced it plans to invest “several hundred million dollars” in infrastructure and services during the first phase of the project, estimating that in the next five years, 6,500 jobs will be created.
The company went on and promised to subcontract local companies for such works, thus hoping to “generate significant indirect jobs and boost Angola’s knowledge base through the supply chain and support services needed to operate a sophisticated communications and technology business”.
The formalisation of the agreement with the Ministry of Telecommunications of Angola, the Ministry of Finance of Angola and the Angolan telecommunications regulator INACOM takes place about six months after Africell won the public tender for a fourth telecommunications license in Angola, to which it was the only candidate.
“Angola is one of the most attractive investment destinations in sub-Saharan Africa and an African leading country, so we see this as the next logical step for Africell as we continue to expand our network and deepen our footprint across the continent”, said in a statement Ziad Dalloul, founder and executive chairman of Africell Group.
The executive also expressed a commitment to “work with the Angolan Government to transform the Angolan telecommunications market through lower prices and accessibility”.
Africell intends to offer affordable services to customers across the country, betting on a high-speed, data-centric mobile network and sophisticated ‘smartphone’ mobile phones, also at affordable prices.
Angola is the fifth market where the Africell Group will have operations, joining Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it already has a customer base of 12 million.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of INACOM, Pascoal Fernandes, said he is pleased that Africell has chosen Angola to expand and hopes that it will contribute to the “development of the market, thus creating conditions for users of services to enjoy better services quality.”
With origins in Lebanon, the group has since 2020 been registered in Jersey, English Channel Island, and has offices in London.
The capital is held by Ziad Dalloul and an unidentified French shareholder, having in recent years raised US$370M (€307M) from entities such as the US investment agency US International Development Finance Corporation, the Gemcorp and Helios Investment Partners funds and the International Financial Corporation, which is part of the World Bank.