Etisalat Addresses 4th COMESA Investment Forum in Dubai
Etisalat’s Group Senior Vice President Ahmed bin Ali has addressed the 4th COMESA Investment Forum which took place today at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The conference was attended by a number of dignitaries and Ministers from the UAE and across the African continent as well as business leaders and investors from the region.
During the opening keynote panel Ahmed bin Ali presented the case for Etisalat’s ongoing investment and expansion across the continent which began in 1999.
Bin Ali explained: “Mobile telephony will continue to be the key enabler for both individual customers and businesses in Africa. The continent is currently witnessing tremendous growth and there is potential both to acquire new, first time customers and also to provide value added services and broadband,” he said.
According to latest research the penetration rate in Africa is approximately 50% and the number of subscriptions is expected to grow from around 500 million at the end of 2010 to nearly 800 million in 2013 (WCIS).
Bin Ali went onto discuss the positive experience Etisalat has had in the emerging markets of Africa such as Egypt, Sudan and Tanzania. In Sudan, Etisalat has expanded its fiber optic network inside Khartoum and introduced a new internet gateway which has attracted new corporate customers in the oil, banking and education sectors. It is also providing International Services and Wholesale capacity to other operators empowered by its submarine cable landing station at Port Sudan. Etisalat’s Egyptian operations have accrued over 15 million customers in less than four years despite it being the third entrant to the Egyptian market.
Building on these successes Etisalat has extended it services in more African countries including Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Gabon, Central Africa and the Ivory Coast. It now employs over 6,000 people who provide services to around 35 million mobile subscribers across these markets.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Forum in Dubai was organized by the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (COMESA RIA), in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and was held under under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.