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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

3-yrs: Zain spends $12bn in Africa

ZAIN Group has invested over $12 billion on the African continent in the last three years, according to the group chief executive officer, Zain Group, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak.

He also said that Zain invested similar amount in the Middle East since 2003, adding that the telco undertook an exciting and brave rebranding of all its operations over the last 12 months to the new Zain brand.

Making this remark during the annual Zain management Accelerate, Consolidate, Expand (ACE) meeting in Jordan, Dr. Al-Barrak, highlighted that the meeting, saw an inspirational speech given by Neil Armstrong, who in 1969, became the first man to walk on the moon.

The meeting was attended by the Jordanian Prime Minister, Mr. Nader Dahabi; the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Bassem Rousan and the CEO of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Dr Ahmed Hiasat.

Al Barrak explained that the purpose of having such a world figure was to motivate Zain leaders, “from all our operations to be brave and take risks in their daily personal and business dealings.”

As said by him, it has been the determination of Zain’s leadership that got it to its present global position in the telecommunications market place.

“This is what got Zain to where it is today, and this is what will get Zain into the top-ten global telecommunications in the world by 2011,” he said.

Emphasizing that like Armstrong and his crew, Zain has undertaken many daring and pioneering missions, from its first $423 million acquisition of Fastlink, Jordan in 2003, to its record-breaking $3.4 billion acquisition of its African operations, Celtel, in 2005 and most recently, the $6.1 billion license acquisition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to name a few.

He further said Zain operates in some of the most challenging markets on earth such as Iraq and many sub-Saharan African countries, and has invested over $12 billion on the African continent alone in just three years, even as it spent a similar amount in the Middle East since 2003.

Mr. Armstrong, who introduced himself to Zain executives and managers from across 22 countries said, “Stepping foot on such a low altitude is a characteristic I am not well known for. Taking risks, unconventional solutions, good ideas, testing and team work, are all the necessary ingredients for a company to succeed in today’s world.”

He also urged participants at the meeting that as managers, “You bear the responsibility of Zain’s success, as nothing takes the place of persistence and there is little satisfaction in reaching easy goals, so aim high.”


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