Airtel Africa has said that part of its mission is to sustainably bridge the financial and digital divide eminent in some parts of Africa.
The new Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olusegun Ogunsanya, said this in his remarks during a Digital Closing Gong Ceremony to introduce him, organised by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Monday in Lagos.
Ogunsanya said that according to latest data, about 19 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in areas without mobile broadband.
“Even where there is coverage, a large number of people are unable to use internet for a variety of reasons. Our mission is to bridge this digital gap.
“Also, a large number of Africans live in rural areas and are excluded from financial activities.
“Even some of those living in urban areas do not have access to financial services, our mission again, is to bridge this financial gap.”
He said that bridging this digital and financial divide sustainably was priority for him and his colleagues.
“I know we are very important stakeholders and under my watch, we will leverage access and influence to a more inclusive society in Africa,”he said.
According to Ogunsanya: “Today is an important day for me as I begin this new journey of delivering value to all our stakeholders around the world and building on a very strong foundation laid by my predecessor.
“Beyond our primary goal of connecting people, with reliable mobile telephony, broadband and mobile money services, we will continue to use our various platforms to support our numerous communities, renewing our social licence every day.
“I look forward to working with all stakeholders,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, on behalf of the NGX board, welcomed Ogunsanya while recounting his efforts to the development and sustained growth of the Airtel Africa.
Popoola said that one of the successes of Ogunsanya as a Chief Executive Officer was the successful listing of Airtel Africa on the London Stock Exchange in 2019 and also being recognised as the best Telecom CEO in Africa in 2017.
“Since its listing in 2019, Airtel Africa has returned over 29 per cent and 79 per cent in price appreciation to its shareholders in its London and Lagos bourses respectively.
“This performance is attributable, primarily, to the company’s strong financial results with return on capital employed, growing from 14 per cent in 2020 to 16.5 per cent in 2021.
“We are confident on the sustained growth of the Airtel Africa franchise. Ogunsanya’s wealth of knowledge and experience over the years will come to bear in this new appointment,”he said.
Popoola also said that the NGX prides itself of offering a secured and efficient platform for capital formation and liquidity for both corporates and governments in meeting their strategic objectives.
The Doyen of the market, Alhaji Rasheed Yussuff, said that shareholders and the capital market community had very high expectations of the company to impact positively in developing the NGX and the Nigerian capital market.
He said that the company could develop tbem to a level at par with other exchanges in Africa and around the world.