Airtel dismisses Ghana exit report

Telecom operator, Airtel says it has no plans to shut down its operations in Ghana, dismissing claim to the contrary.

A statement signed by Airtel Vice President in charge of Corporate Communications, Michael Okwiri said the company’s revenue health bill is encouraging and would invest more in its operations in Africa.

“Airtel Africa’s recent 3rd quarter results were strong. The underlying Africa revenues for the quarter accelerated by 6.0 percent Y-o-Y, the highest over the last 9 quarters,” the statement read.

Related Article: Airtel to exit Ghana this year

Bharti Airtel, the mother company of Airtel Ghana is reported to have outlined plans to close its offices in 14 African countries by the end of 2017.

Countries slated to be affected include Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Bharti Airtel Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal was quoted to have said the “moves would pare the size of operations on the continenet and could be completed within a year…some of Bharti’s businesses in 14 African nations would be affected.”

Airtel Ghanaian customers were displeased with the news resulting in reports of people jumping onto other networks for their communication needs.

But the company said it remains committed to its operations in Africa and would work to expand its clientele base.

“Data consumption and revenues have grown by 91.0 percent and 24.0 percent Y-o-Y respectively, led by stronger data networks,” Mr Okwiri said.

Airtel Africa Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava also added that the company’s recent steps in the areas of human resources and infrastructure developments are aimed readying the organisation for efficient and sustainable growth.

“The company remains committed to competing in various markets and providing more choice to customers through further investments to ensure consistent delivery of quality and value for money services to our customers,” he said.

Although he did not talk about a possible merger with another company, Mr Mandava said it continues to be the norm for any multinational organisation desirous to expand its operations.

“As a strategy, we look for opportunities to acquire or merge companies that are operating in a fragmented market structure with too many players in a small market,” he said.

He disclosed the company and Orange, another telecom company in Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso reached a mutually beneficial agreement on assets.

“Similarly, Airtel also acquired assets in Uganda, Congo Brazzavile and Kenya in recent times,” he added.