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Africa in 2017…. lessons from the past, looking to the future

Source | LinkedIn : By Srikanth Balachandran

As I waited in the Dubai airport lounge to take my connecting flight to Nairobi last week, the GSMA Report on “The Mobile Economy : Sub-Saharan Africa 2017” drew my attention. The Report had just been released, and the summary comments were quite telling.

The mobile industry plays an increasingly important role in the social and economic development of the region; mobile connectivity has become the main platform for innovation and the driving force for greater inclusion….contributes significantly to economic growth and jobs….

Across the region, mobile is enabling life-enhancing services that directly impact the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), complementing the efforts of governments and their development partners.

In June this year, Airtel completed 7 years of its operations in Africa. To me, it was time to pick out valuable lessons from our experiences. What is the use of crossing milestones of time, if one does not learn from the journey ? So, here are my seven lessons, taken out from several pages of our own chronicles across the 15 countries we now operate in Africa.

Lesson#1 : Africa is a continent of several countries. This is the reality of Africa, and the beauty of it. Each of the countries has its own history, cultures, economic and social moorings. For a mobile operator like Airtel, understanding the past, present and future of every country of its operation has been a fascinating experience. The deeper one understands a country and her people, the more excited one becomes about servicing them. The Airtel brand connects with each country like it is the beginning and end, there is no other lens which is more critical. Our future lies in connecting deeply with the country’s outlook and people aspirations. As they create a better future and make history, Airtel is a trusted partner.

Read On….

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