June 19, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
As part of their commitment in providing quality telecommunication services in the country, one of the leading GSM operators in Sierra Leone, Airtel, on Thursday (15th June, 2017) officially launched new pole site in Lokomasama Chiefdom, Port Loko District.
Speaking at the well-attended launching ceremony which took place at Lokomasama, Managing Director of Orange, Sekou Drame, said the launch of the site has always been a great occasion for Airtel/Orange family.
He said Orange was committed to enhancing the quality and expansion on the coverage with the utmost aim to delivering the best services.
He said the launching at Lokomasa was the first launch out of their 33 newly constructed sites across the country.
He said the new pole can now connect Lokomasama with the rest of the world and that such development would bring immense opportunities to the local communities.
He further that their clients in that part of the country would now enjoy communication as they used to travel miles to get coverage.
He said Airtel was proud of its achievement and were determined to bring first class modern telecommunication to the doorstep of every Sierra Leonean, thus welcoming Lokomasama and its environs to Airtel family.
Chief Operation Officer for Orange Africa Group, Jean-Marc Vignolles, deliberated on the economic importance of access to basic telecommunications services, which, he said was critical to development.
He said access to telecommunications was still a challenge for many in the Africa continent, noting that Orange believes communication was a basic right and not a privilege and that bringing affordable access to information and communications to underserved communities, would strengthen cultures and promote commerce and societal participation.
He said Orange would bridge the digital divide and connects Africa as their mantra was to create new experience and opportunities which were something they wanted to achieve for their subscribers around the continent.
He said they were working to provide communication platform that would facilitate universal and affordable access to information, adding that they were building the biggest 3G network across Africa with the fastest coverage and similar access in all the markets they operate.
“We pride ourselves in the superior levels of customer service we afford to our subscribers. We are accessible to all and strive to be relevant and give local experience that brings value to our subscribers wherever they are and we strongly believe that the possibilities to achieve together with our subscribers are endless,” he said
In his welcome address, Paramount Chief, Bai Moro Lamina Angbathor, of Lokomasama Chiefdom, said they have more than sixty chiefs from the surrounding that graced the occasion.
He said before that time, they used to walk miles to make phone calls but with Airtel pole site at their community, they could now communicate anywhere in the world from their homes and even in their farm huts.
He said Lokomasama Chiefdom was the biggest in Port Loko District and that the chiefdom comprises more than two hundred and eighty-eight towns, villages and has over ten thousand residents.
Chairman of Oversight Committee on Telecommunication in Parliament, Honorable Binneh Bangura, said it was a memorable day for residents of Lokomasama Chiefdom as they have suffered immensely in terms of communication.
In his keynote address, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Cornelius Deveaux, said among other things, that the government of Sierra Leone was paying close attention in the area of information and communication because they have realized that communication was a fundamental human right.
He said the government was not doing business but they were creating the enabling environment for people that would want to invest in the country which is a direct contrast to President Koroma’s agenda to run the country as a business.
He called on Airtel to honour their corporate social responsibility by providing internet facility to secondary schools in the community.