Airtel has committed to invest $ 125 million in Gabon following discussions at the New York Forum in Libreville. The New York Forum AFRICA, was held in Libreville, Gabon; under the Patronage of H.E. President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, in collaboration with the government of Gabon. The New York Forum Africa 2013 focused on the initiatives necessary to make several opportunities a reality. The over 600 business and political leaders that gathered in Libreville engaged in collaborative sessions to draw up a road map for individual businesses as well as national policy makers.
Senior Executives from Airtel Africa held discussions with the H.E. President Ali Bongo during the forum to discuss possible areas of synergy with the Gabon Emergent program and reinforce the company’s long term commitment to Gabon. Present at the meeting were Manoj Kohli Managing Director & CEO International and Tiemoko Coulibaly, CEO for the Africa Francophone region.
Manoj Kohli, Managing Director & CEO International said, “Airtel is committed to Gabon and ready to work with the Government towards achieving their ICT goals. We are in Gabon for the long haul and will support both Commercial and Social programs. These include the deployment of a 3G and 4G network, when made available, to help businesses and the youth access world class data services. In addition, continued support in youth driven activity like soccer and the support of a young Gabonese ICT entrepreneurship program to provide ICT training to 10,000 youth over the next 3 years. We plan to develop training programs on ICT business in collaboration with local training schools.”
To underline the urgent need for integration of youth into the African growth strategy, it was reiterated that some 150 million young people were unemployed across the entire continent.
Gabon aims to have a countrywide digital infrastructure by 2016, thus enabling the development of a wide range of e-services, which will give rise to a major qualitative improvement in social services and create the foundations for Gabon.
Mr. Tiemoko Coulibaly, Bharti Airtel’s CEO for the Francophone Africa Region said “The interactions at the Forum were fruitful and we would like to extend our thanks to the organizers of the Forum and H.E. the President for the very informative, interactive and progressive sessions throughout the forum. We do look forward to realizing our commitments.”
Several Heads of State from the CEMAC region (which is the Economic Community of Central African States), attended the Forum and the Airtel team also had the opportunity to hold discussions on investments in Congo Brazzaville with H.E. President Sassou Nguesso.