Telecom service provider, Africell has announced that it will next month exit Uganda.

“Africell has decided to leave Uganda and focus on other opportunities for social and commercial impact. Doing so is the most sustainable way to fulfill our overall mission to advance African telecom sector,” Africell said adding that “The decision was made in the long term interest of the Ugandan telecom sector.”

According to a statement released to its employees, the company has over the past month conducted a detailed assessment of the future of Africell Uganda. The company established that it is struggling to be a leader not only in terms of mobile services but also in terms of community impact and the digitally lead transformation of society.

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“We believe that the opportunity to achieve this impact is incredibly limited. We have therefore taken the difficult to permanently end Africell Uganda operations.”

“Africell will stop services on 7 October 2021 and the last day of employment with Africell Uganda will be 30 November 2021. Africell will clearly communicate the transition in respect to its employees and clients,” Africell said.

The company further said that it will award severance pay, unused annual leave allowance, repatriation pay, training and support from a dedicated onsite professional.

“We understand that all employees have unique personal circumstances and the Human resource office will be in contact to explain specific packages for employees. As of 8 September 2021, Africell will not accept new customers. In the next month, the company will be helping current customers to switch to other service provider,” Africell said.

Africell Uganda was established in May 2014, when it acquired the majority stake that Orange Telecom owned in its Uganda cellular network. Africell paid $12 million for that stake, inheriting an estimated 1,000,000 subscribers. In November 2014, the Group Chairman and CEO announced plans to invest US$150 million in the next 5 years, to upgrade the Africell network in Uganda.

In 2014, the network subscribers in Uganda were estimated at one million. As of September 2018, its subscriber customer numbers had risen to 2.1 million. In April 2020, the company’s website gives the number of subscribers as over 3,000,000.

In 2018, Africell Holdings, the parent company of Africell Uganda, secured a loan of US$100 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), to expand operations in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Africell Holdings maintains subsidiaries in the Gambia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and Uganda. As of January 2015, Africell Uganda maintained coverage in the majority of Uganda’s geographical area.