Airtel Clarifies on Reports about Exiting Africa

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Bharti Airtel has faulted as erroneous, reports indicating that the telecommunications company is considering exiting Africa over financial challenges.

The company which runs operations in 15 countries across Africa, in a January 30th Statement reaffirmed that it remains committed to Africa and will continue to invest in its operations to grow sustainably in the continent.

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

According to the statement, Data consumption and revenues have grown by 91.0 percent and 24.0 percent year over year respectively, led by stronger data networks.

The telecom also noted that their customer turnover has dropped from 6 percent to 4.9 percent, a drop which they attributed to strong efforts to improve the quality of customer acquisitions.

According to Raghunath Mandava, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, all the steps taken recently with regard to human resources and infrastructure have been geared towards readying the organization to grow efficiently and sustainably in the medium to long term and not indicative of exit plans.

Commenting on the issue of the company seeking mergers, Mandava said “Mergers and acquisitions continue to be the norm for any multinational organization and they affect all global organizations in equal measures as and when they happen.”

Last year, Airtel and Orange reached a mutual agreement on the assets in Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. Similarly, Airtel also acquired assets in Uganda, Congo Brazaville and Kenya in recent times.

The agreements, according to Mandava, brought together the strengths of Airtel, Warid and Essar.

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