KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) May 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ –
• New Telecommunications & ICT Minister of Africa’s largest sub Saharan country (the Democratic Republic of Congo) visits Airtel, the country’s largest telecommunications network
• Airtel is the first telecom network visited by newly appointed Minister, His Excellency Kin- Kiey Mulumba during familiarization tour
• As per the Government’s instructions said the Minister, the 3G license sale should be immediate and DRC connection to Optic Fiber is imminent
• Whilst 60% of the population is already covered, there is still a lot more potential
Airtel (http://www.airtel.com), the largest telecom network in DRC, is the first operator to be visited by the new Telecommunications & ICT Minister in the country – his Excellency Tryphon Kin-Kiey MULUMBA. The visit was part of the newly appointed Minister’s familiarization program to understand the realities that the telecom operators are dealing with in the country. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), commonly referred to as DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or the DRC, is a country located in Central Africa. It is the largest country in sub Saharan Africa by area since the accession of South Sudan as an independent country and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 71 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially Francophone country.
The Minister did not hide his satisfaction during his visit when he discovered the level of investments made by the Number One telecom network in DRC: More than a billion U.S. dollars has been invested in the network over the years, and Airtel plans to invest an additional 615 million U.S. dollars over the next three years.
The visit started with a working session at Airtel’s Headquarters with the Exco Committee and HQ offices. Braving the rain with his delegation, he then headed for the New Technical Centers-NTC- in Barumbu and Kingabwa neighborhoods. It should be noted that all the buildings visited by the new Minister are Airtel owned properties, which demonstrates the long-term commitment of the largest phone operator in DRC, through these key investments.
Commenting on his visit, His Excellency Kin-Kiey MULUMBA said: “Our country is very large and the potential is huge. Airtel is a big company, and the investments made so far by Airtel in our country are amazing. We, as the Government, are under the obligation to make available the essential infrastructures to enable operators like Airtel and others to continue investing in our country and improve the national coverage.”
“The Government’s instructions are very clear as for an immediate sale of the 3G license to telecom operators and completion of the Optical fiber landing station. The Optical fiber question is a matter of priority for the Government,” he added.
Airtel DRC Managing Director, Mr Antoine Pamboro, thanked the Minister for this visit which allowed the new head of the telecom sector to interact with Airtel’s team. The Minister and his delegation were impressed by Airtel’s technical achievements. Whist 60% of the Congolese population is covered, there is still a lot more potential. He also pointed out the organizations commitment to youth education. To date, three schools in Kinshasa, Kasai-Oriental and Bas-Congo benefit from Airtel’s adopt a school program.
Airtel has also expressed willingness to take up a 25 % participation of the company to be set up to manage the Optical Fiber in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Airtel has also joined an elite club of global brands by making it to this year’s BrandZTop™ 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. With an overall ranking of 71 and brand value of USD 11.5 billion, Airtel has been ranked ahead of top global brands such as Citi (82), Sony (86), MTN (88), China Telecom (90), and Volkswagen (96).
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Bharti Airtel Limited.