By Aminah Nabuule
The Telecom company, Africell Uganda Limited has announced it will in October be exiting the Ugandan market after seven years.
In 2014, after exiting the Ugandan market, French company, Orange sold its stake to Africell, a telecom company headquartered in London.
However after seven years, the company has announced it is exiting the Ugandan market that has proved difficult for them.
“Africell UG will stop services on October 7, 2021 . The decision is being made in the long term interest of the Ugandan telecom sector,” the company announced to its employees.
The company said a survey about their future in Uganda revealed that they can no longer achieve the dream of impacting through a digitally led transformation of society and consequently, the need to pull out of the market.
“We believe that the opportunity to achieve this impact is increasingly limited. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to permanently end Africell UG’s operations in Uganda.”
By April 2020, the company’s website was indicating the number of subscribers was over 3,000,000 and this is expected to have grown .
By exiting the country, these will be left in suspense on what to do next but according to the company, a plan has been put in place to ensure they join other networks.
“As of September, 8, 2021, Africell UG is no longer accepting new customers. In the next month, we will be helping current customers switch to other operators,” the company said.
The company however assured its employees that whereas it ceases operations in October, their last day for employment will be November 2021 and will be paid all their due emoluments.
“In addition to a full salary and benefits during your notice period, Africell UG will offer you severance pay and payment of unused annual leave allowance,” the company told employees.
The company noted that each of the employees would be contacted by the human resource manager to explain their specific packages.
“Although Africell regrets the immediate impact this decision will have, we believe it is a justified long term transition and we are closely supporting affected employees and customers.”
Having joined the Ugandan market in 2014 after taking over Orange operations, the company which is also present in Gambia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola in Africa has not fared well in the last seven months of existence in Uganda.
Africell has approximately 7% the Ugandan market share and on its website, the company boasts of serving more than 3,000,000 active subscribers offering 2G, 3G and 4G network.
However, according to insiders with knowledge about the dealings of the company, losses incurred by the company and debts necessitated its immediate exit from the Ugandan market that it entered seven years back.