Africell to shut Uganda unit in October after 7 years of operations

Africell, which launched in Uganda in 2014, has announced that it will wind up its by 7 October 2021.

Africell entered the Uganda telecoms sector and market by acquiring the operations of Orange in the country, forking out $12 million for the latter’s stake, and inheriting an estimated 1 million subscribers. Later that year, the firm announced plans to invest $150 million over the next 5 years to upgrade its network in Uganda.

“Africell’s decision to leave Uganda is based on a careful assessment of the long-term commercial outlook for the business and its fit within the overall group strategy of driving digital transformation in the communities we serve… Africell Uganda has worked closely with the Ugandan Government and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) throughout the decision-making process and will continue to do so until and beyond the date that network operations formally cease,” announced the telco in a statement published on its website.

“Africell UG has a plan in place to support employees during this transition, which has been approved by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and exceeds minimum statutory requirements. In parallel, Africell Uganda is working directly with the UCC and other local mobile network operators to make the migration process as smooth as possible for customers who will need to switch to alternative providers.”

From 2014 to September 2018, Africell’s subscriber numbers rose significantly to about 2.1 million. By April 2020, the number of subscribers had risen to over 3 million.

Africell Uganda is part of the Africell Group of UK, which provides fast, low-cost and reliable mobile network coverage and related technology services to over 12 million subscribers in four African countries (that is Uganda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and DRC. The Group plans to launch operations in Angola by the end of 2021.

Overall, Africell employs over 1,000 people in seven countries. Though headquartered in the UK, the Group’s major shareholders come from the US.

With the impending departure of Africell, Uganda’s mobile telephony sector will now be left to MTN Uganda, Airtel Uganda, Uganda Telecom (utl), Smile Telecom, K2 Telecom and Lycamobile Uganda.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.