Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) & Joint MD, Bharti Airtel, met with His Excellency the President of Rwanda to discuss the telecommunication company’s progress in the country. The courtesy visit comes two months after Airtel launched operations in Rwanda, expanding Airtel’s already significant footprint on the continent.
During the conversation with H.E. the President, Mr. Kohli reinforced the teleco’s commitment to work with the government in supporting the knowledge-based economy. Airtel plans to invest USD 100 million in its operations over the next three years and will work towards generating both direct and indirect employment opportunities within its ecosystem. The company will also be bringing in partners like IBM and Ericsson to set up and manage world class facilities in the country.
Commenting on the visit, Mr. Kohli explained: “Rwanda is a promising telecommunications market and we are grateful to the Government and people of Rwanda for the support extended to us since our entry into the country.”
Mr. Kohli also explained that although Kigali is currently operating on a 2G network, the company also plans to launch 3G services in the market within the upcoming quarter. The launch of Airtel’s 3G platform will help stimulate change to how subscribers experience the web on internet-enabled devices technology will be beneficial for a variety of users, which include large Corporates, Small or Medium Businesses and the Youth.
Rwanda will also benefit from Airtel’s mobile commerce platform – Airtel Money. The service will allow consumers and communities to take advantage of the mobile commerce reality sweeping through the industry by enabling them to conduct a range of financial transactions quickly and easily.
The company’s vision for Rwanda stretches far beyond business priorities, explained Mr. Kohli. Since launching in March this year, the company has strengthened its commitment to the community by adopting a primary school in Kicukiro. Airtel will be refurbishing the school to ensure that its students are educated in an environment most suitable for learning.
In addition, Airtel plans to bring its football talent search – Airtel Rising Stars – into Rwanda. Since its opening season last year, this pan-African tournament has grown to be Africa’s largest youth football initiative. Its focus on identifying and nurturing budding soccer talent from the grassroots onto a national stage provides a platform for upcoming soccer talent under the age of seventeen to showcase their skills to leading scouts and coaches, which gives the participants an opportunity to further their football skills. Making a long-lasting positive impact on the community remains a priority for the organization.