Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Best practices take Zain operatives to Bahrian

Twenty-two senior management representatives made up of regulatory departments across 15 African and 7 Middle East countries, from Zain Group, the parent company of Celtel International, at the weekend, concluded a four-day workshop in Bahrain ‘s Elite Resort and Spa to share industry best practices.

Sources at Celtel Nigeria, a member of Zain, informed that the workshop, was a platform for the group’s regulatory teams to share experiences and learning from the very disparate regulatory environments in Africa and the Middle East.

Zain is the owner of Celtel International, which has operations in Nigeria, Niger , Kenya , Burkina Faso , Chad , Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Malawi, Zambia , Uganda , Tanzania , Madagascar , Sierra Leone and Gabon.

The Group Chief Regulatory Officer for Zain, Mr. Mohammed Shabib said that participants examined regulation at different regulatory environments within which the company operates very seriously.

According to him, nearly all of the telco’s 22 operations in Africa and the Middle East have to operate in regulatory environments that are at varying levels of maturity and development, including Bahrain where the regulator is well established and fully functional.

He pointed out that in other countries, regulation is sometimes still in the development or early implementation stage through sharing of experiences and skills across it operations, “We will raise the standards of our own teams that will be of direct benefit and make a positive contribution to the regulatory environments in each country.”

He further added that the workshop and associated discussions were timed to help set Zain’s regulatory goals for 2008 in line with the group’s strategic initiatives and plans to be a top 10 global mobile company by 2011.

He added that the four-day event covered a wide range of regulatory subjects such as interconnection regimes, the arrangements for one operator to allow calls from one network to another, regulatory governance developments and technological innovations that have a direct impact on regulatory affairs and practices.

In Africa, Zain currently operates under the Celtel brand in 14 sub-Saharan countries (soon 15 with the recent acquisition of Westel in Ghana). Celtel is the most successful pan-African mobile network, offering telecommunications services to more people in Africa than any other network.

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