Liberian Vice President Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakai has hailed the entry of telecommunications giant Orange into the Liberian market. The Vice President made the statement at a VIP dinner held on Thursday, May 18 at the Paynesville City Hall to celebrate the launch of the Orange brand in Liberia.
The Vice President, who served as guest of honor at the well-attended event, lauded the investment made by Orange and said that it would have a significant effect on the Liberian people. He highlighted that although GSM companies had made strides in improving coverage, much of the country still does not have access to telecommunications. He observed that the Orange goal to significantly increase its coverage in Liberia is necessary. “Orange, you came at the right time, and we are grateful to you for choosing us at this point in time to come and invest,” said the Vice President.
V.P. Boakai admonished Orange to focus not only on expanding its network, but to also ensure the quality of service provided to the Liberian people. “People of Liberia love quality,” he noted. “We always want the best.” He went on to acknowledge the significant investment that Orange had already made in the country and assured the company that its investment was not at risk.
Both Orange’s CEO Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly and Orange’s Deputy CEO for Africa and Middle East Mr. Bruno Mettling outlined the plans that Orange had for Liberia. Mettling pointed out that Orange believed in the Liberian economy so much that the company moved forward with its acquisition of Cellcom even when other investors were turning away from Liberia during the Ebola crisis. Said Mettling: “We are very proud that we were the first international company to invest in Liberia after the Ebola crisis.” Mr. Mettling emphasized that Orange would put 30% of its annual profits back into the Liberian economy to improve overall coverage and quality but stressed that the Liberian government needed to stabilize its tax structure as a way of encouraging investors.
For his part, CEO Coulibaly revealed that in addition to maintaining services that the Liberian people enjoyed such as the 3 days free calls promotion, the company would continue to roll out innovative products and services in the interest of the Liberian people. He stressed: “We will invest significantly in network roll-out across the entire country, develop e-recharge in order to ease the constraints of scratch-cards loading, launch Orange Money, a new robust platform to boost mobile banking services in the country. We will as well introduce new highly competitive offers and low cost smartphones in order to boost digital inclusion. We intend to position Orange Liberia by 2020 as a true catalyst for the digitization of Liberian society”
Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 40.9 billion euros in 2016 and 154,000 employees worldwide at March 31, 2017, including 95,000 employees in France. Present in 29 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 265 million customers worldwide at March 31, 2017, including 203 million mobile customers and 19 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan, “Essentials2020,” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.