The introduction of Smart Uganda’s products and services in Mbale, Uganda’s third largest town will enable the telecom expand its proven social enterprise with the aim of making measurable social impact in the community.
Building upon the Agha Khan Development Network’s (AKDN) longstanding ties to East Africa, Smart entered Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda as the only telecommunications operator with one, unified East African network, with a commitment to embrace local cultures and values and positively impacting the communities in which it operates.
Speaking during the official opening of the Mbale Office, Omer Maghoub, Smart’s Commercial Director explained that the expansion of Smart into the Eastern region would enable the company take innovative and people-centric services to the people that need them.
“By opening up our new offices in Mbale, we are getting closer to the customer. This will be a one-stop shop for all our products and services. This means we are bringing a quality network that is affordable, accessible and available,” he said. Adding; “The economic potential of this town is very promising and is very dynamic. We want the people to come and feel our brand.”
In the presence of a growing middle class, improving infrastructure and a stable political environment, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Agha Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) launched SMART, a strong and unique telecommunications enterprise into East Africa.
The Mayor Mbale Municipality, Mr. Mutwalib Zandya Mafabi commended Smart for choosing his town as the starting point in the telecom’s expansion plan. “This shows that development is coming to my town and my people will benefit immensely from the ripple effect of your presence here. This will help the economic momentum of this town. We shall work together to ensure that our investors are protected,” he said.
With the launch of SMART, AKDN/AKFED saw an opportunity to extend its proven social enterprise model into the region, leveraging on technology, innovation and customer-prioritized service.
Supporting AKDN/AKFED’s mission as a social impact development agency, SMART is investing in training and skills development, foster entrepreneurship, bridge infrastructure gaps, and meeting basic needs so as to build human capacity and improve the well-being of the region’s communities.
In an initial effort to build human capacity, Smart has established a “Talent Pipeline” that aims to empower and recruit the best young, African talent from local universities. Smart employs a young, dynamic staff and aims to fill positions by hiring high-potential individuals straight from local universities. So far, 120 staff have come from this pipeline.