MTN Zambia chief executive officer Charles Molapisi says the company is well positioned for further growth in the telecoms sector in Zambia with the country’s population still very young, opening up capacity for growth of the subscriber base countrywide.
And Molapisi says the company has invested more than US$30 million in the business to deliver its range of services that has seen its subscriber base swell to 5.7 million customers for services including data, voice calls and mobile money.
He says MTN is focused on strengthening its market share and build on its portfolio of services, supported by positive macro-economic factors in the country. The development comes at a time when Zambia is expecting more players in the country’s telecommunications sector, with MTN noting its openness to competition.
Spaking on the side-lines of the Customer Service Conference recently held in Lusaka under the theme, “Customer experience taking the lead into the experience economy”, Molapisi said his company welcomes competition citing support for a level playing field.
“As a company we welcome competition and this year alone, we have invested over $30million in this market and we will continues to do what we can to ensure that we please our customers while building our network,” said Molapisi.
He explained that MTN is seeing a massive rebound in its business which has been helped by macro-economic factors. Molapisi noted that there’s been stability in the Zambian economy and this is helping the business see positive signs of recovery and MTN is happy about the business and seeing good growth overall in its business.
Molapisi, who was awarded the 2017 Most Customer Focused Strategic Leader during the Customer Service Awards, has emerged as one of the most interactive chief executive officers in Zambian business with an innovative culture of interacting with his network subscribers through his monthly Facebook Live chats.
“I have time to listen to customers and assist them because it is in our service charter. We are liable to be responsive and next year we are honouring our customers because we have declared 2018 the year of the customer.”
MTN is Zambia’s largest telecommunications company with at least 49 per cent market share and has the largest mobile money customer base in excess of 800 000 active subscribers.
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Zambia allocated 8.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines
ZAMBIA has been allocated 8.7million doses of Covid-19 vaccines under a facility being pioneered by the Africa Union.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, His Excellency Emmanuel Mwamba announced the development.
He said the initiative is being done under the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) a platform which has been created to ensure that upto 60% of Africa’s population were vaccinated against the Coronavirus by December 2021.
He said AVATT was created by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union, in November 2020.
He said AVATT has been mandated to secure the necessary vaccines and blended financing resources for achieving Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy which targets vaccinating a minimum of 60 per cent of Africa’s population.
Mr. Mwamba said AVATT’s efforts are focused on; securing enough safe and efficacious vaccine doses to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of the African population, estimating the funding needs for vaccine procurement and delivery and creating the financing mechanisms required to ensure that all African Union Member States can access and receive the vaccine doses they need to reach a minimum of 60 per cent immunisation.
He said under the mechanism, the vaccines are being sourced from Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and AstraZeneca.
Pfizer and Johnsons &Johnsons are among the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, while AstraZeneca PLC is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical.
He said a finance facility has been created under the AVATT- the Advance Procurement Commitment (APC) Facility to be backed by African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank).
He said this mechanism aims at ensuring Africa’s access to the COVID-19 vaccines from no later than April 2021, by providing assurance to identified vaccine manufacturers that vaccine orders placed through the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), are firm and will be paid for as may be agreed.
APC aims to guarantee Africa’s access to of COVID-19 vaccines in a manner that reduces the fiscal burden on member countries.
The mechanism will also ensure a timely, equitable and cost-effective availability of COVID-19 vaccine supplies within the African continent and by so doing, mitigate the protracted financial and socio-economic costs of the COVID-19.
This is also to provide a credible platform around which a blend of funding can be attached to
support Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine procurement requirements.
The Task Team has provisionally secured 270 million vaccine doses for Africa for the critical period from April to December 2021.
He said Zambia’s allocation may rise to 25million doses by December 2021.
These vaccine doses, which are in addition to the expected COVAX doses, will be distributed through the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP).
The candidates and related quantities are; 50 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 100million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, through the Serum Institute of India and 120 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (upon satisfactory conclusion of phase III trials).
He said the vaccines will obtain prior approval by AVATT on the recommendation of the Africa-CDC.
Africa CDC will approve the vaccines having considered the necessary conditions, efficacy including vaccines which have been trialed in Africa and safety.
Mr. Mwamba said the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) was briefed of the progress that has been made to ensure that member states began to receive the vaccines from March- April 2021.
This is according to issued by Mrs. Inutu Mupango Mwanza First Secretary (Press&Tourism), Addis Ababa,Ethiopia