By Mackie M. Jalloh
On 17th December 2020, one of the leading mobile telecom network in Sierra Leone, ORANGE-SL, called on the Media at their head office at Hill Station, on their Final Update for 2020.
Various members highlighted the good things that orange has done since 2016, when they took over from Airtel.
Miss Annie Katta, head of Public Relations, said that the holding of a final update for media 2020 is to let the public know how far they’ve come since 2016 to reach this far in 2020. She explained about their executive committee and positions. She also disclosed that GSMA predicts that 80% of the 800 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa will have a mobile device by 2020, two times more than today. A major reason for this trend is the growing popularity of OTT services and mobile banking.
She continued that the Mobile Industry contributes 8.3% to the GDP of African governments in 2020, and Africa is the leader in Mobile financial services. In Africa today, there are 100 million active mobile money accounts (used by one in ten African adults). This far exceeds customer adoption in South Asia, the second-biggest region for mobile money in terms of market share, with 40 million active mobile money accounts, and Sierra Leone is 18%, which falls below the bottom 15 countries.
She furthered that Orange is one of the leading telecommunications operators in the world, present in 29 countries, with revenue of 21 billion Euros and 154,000 employees worldwide, and more than 20, 000 employees in 22 countries in Africa. In Africa one of 10 people is Orange customer.
She said Orange acquired the Airtel operations in Sierra Leone in July 2016. The company is owned at par by SONATEL Group, a listed company based in Senegal and by Atlas Countries Support (ACS) (a 100%-owned subsidiary of the French company Orange).
The Company in Sierra Leone is operated by 191 permanent and 144 Temporary staff. There are 8 Directors in Executive Committee, in addition to 2 non-executive committee directors.
Another speaker, Desmond Spain, head of CSR, explained about the activities Orange has done in respect to the Covid-19 response and support. He said that they have distributed PPEs at Regional Level via stakeholders (City and District Councils inclusive of MPs in Const. 112 & 128) – Hand wash, Veronica Buckets, Soap, and Hand Sanitizers
He furthered that they have provided e-Educational Portals to MBSSE/MTHE – Zero Rated e-Learning Links for Pupils & Students, Offering 3 months of Top Up & Data Bundle for the Contents developers (Teachers); developed CRBT as means of raising COVID-19 communications, Chamber of Commerce Partnership – Provision of Food Items for 100 Quarantined Homes – Rice, Cooking Oil, Maggie & Onions
He furthered that Orange has collaborated with CDC, WHO, MOHS, MIC, UNICEF in dissemination of COVID-19 information and also Zero Rated their Links, donated Android phones to EOC for security personnel to track e-Pass along the checkpoints, SLL 150,000 Top Up & 5 GB to all front line staff at the 3 treatment centres, inclusive of all EOC Staff, donated SLL 1bn Cash to the National COVID Emergency Response Centre – NaCOVERC and more.
Others speakers where Patrick Kamara, B2B Marketing Manager, Daniel Fornah, Head of Planning and Engineering Dept, Cecil Goodman, Head of Tax and Compliance, Sarieu Zubairu, Strategic Planning and Abibatu Baxter, Orange Money.