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Information Minister endorses Africell as leading network provider

-as they rakes $100M financing agreement with OPIC

August 9, 2019

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

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US Ambassador, Maria Brewer, Shadi Gerjawi of Africell and Information Minister, Mohamed Rahman Swaray

Sierra Leone’s minister of Information and Communications has endorsed Africell Mobile Company as the country’s leading telecommunications provider.

Mohamed Rahman Swaray made the endorsement on Tuesday August 6, 2019 during the officially signing of a $100million financing agreement between Africell and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a United States government’s agency that finances and supports investment by American businesses in emerging markets.

The funds will be used to expand the availability, reach and improve quality of communications, as well as associated value added services across Africell’s operations in The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.

In his statement, Mr. Swaray on behalf of government, congratulated the company for pulling off such a deal, describing it as an endorsement of the enduring and sustainable investment that the current government is creating to be able to attract much needed private sector investment into the country.

“We trust that as the leading network provider in Sierra Leone, you will also ensure that skills transfer- preparing the next generation leaders will be key and critical in this process of expansion. We are confident that Sierra Leone will have a fair share of the funds to invest it into network expansion in support of President Julius Maada Bio’s PET project of improving reach and access in unserved and underserved communities,” he said.

He applauded the United States Ambassador’s unwavering support in marketing the private sector in the country and reiterated the role and support the two countries have had for each other over the years.

Africell’s Managing Director, Shadi Gerjawi said: “We are delighted to have reaffirmed today the signing of a $100million agreement with OPIC. The money will be used to expand the availability, reach, coverage and quality of communication in addition to other value added services and FINTEC services like global payment, micro financing and insurance in our operations areas in Gambia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and Uganda, depending on each country specific needs.”

He stated that the company, which came into existence in 2001, is one of the fasted growing telecommunications companies in Africa with the focus and expertise in frontier market.

“We see this financing agreement from OPIC as a clear vote of confidence in the operations and vision of Africell.  We have established ourselves as the market leader in Gambia and Sierra Leone. Within our four operations, we have 12million subscribers and we are working to make sure we secure new operations in other African countries. We will continue to be at the forefront at the evolving landscape of Africa’s communications for voice, data and other services,” he noted.

Earlier, US Ambassador, Maria Brewer stated that the agreement between Africell and OPIC represent another example of the strong partnership between America and Sierra Leone.

She said a critical part of their on-going partnership involves collaborating with the private sector to help create investments in critical infrastructure, such as telecommunications.

“OPIC is a self-sustaining US Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Today, I am proud to announce to you that OPIC has concluded a $100million financial agreement with Africell,” she said.