Mobile operator Africell secures Angolan telco licence

Logo of for Africell telecoms is seen along Rawdon street in the city center, in Freetown, Sierra Leone August 19, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Africa-focused mobile network operator Africell said on Wednesday it had finalised a deal with Angola to secure a mobile telecommunications operator’s licence.

Africell will join three other operators – Movicel, Unitel and state-owned Angola Telecom – already serving the southern African oil producer.

“Angola is amongst the most attractive investment destinations in sub-Saharan Africa,” Africell’s CEO and Chairman Ziad Dalloul said in a statement. “So we see this as the logical next step for Africell as we continue to grow our network.”

Africell currently provides service to around 12 million subscribers in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company secured a $100 million loan from the U.S. Development Finance Corporation in 2018 to fund an expansion strategy that includes growing mobile payments and micro-finance offerings and upgrading its 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Africell said it planned to invest “several hundred million dollars” in infrastructure and services during the first phase of its rollout in Angola, with operations expected to create around 6,500 jobs over the next five years.

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