3 February 2016

Liberia: President Sirleaf Meets With Cellcom - Orange Delegation During a Courtesy Call

Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcome the proposal of Orange, through its subsidiary Orange Côte d'Ivoire, in acquiring 100 percent the Cellcom - Liberia subsidiary.

"We want to see this investment. We want to see you expand telecommunication services to our population and interconnectivity to our neighboring countries as well as the world," she stressed, adding that her government encourages this partnership and investment which is good for Liberia.

The Liberian leader indicated that she expects that Orange will be good corporate citizens and do what they can as a partner to government, most especially in ensuring that employees are taken care of.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion when a high-level delegation of Cellcom-Liberia and Orange paid her a courtesy call.

She hoped that both sides (Government and Orange) will work assiduously to meet the target date of February 9, 2016 to conclude the technical details of the agreement.

For his part, the Executive Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cellcom - Liberia, Abraham Avi Zaidenberg assured the Liberian Government that as part of the new arrangement, Cellcom will ensure that all previous obligations and agreements are honored.

Talking about future plans, Mr. Zaidenberg said, "Orange has plans to increase the number of employees in the company, increase dramatically its investment in the country, most especially the rollout of towers across the country including remote areas." He urged the cooperation of the Liberian government in achieving its objective.

Representing Cellcom - Liberia and Orange were Mr. Zaidenberg, Chief Executive Officer, Cellcom, Mr. Avishai Marziano; Chief Executive Officer of Orange - Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Mamadou Bamba; Senior Executive Vice President, Operations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Mr. Marc Rennard; and Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Operations in Africa and Middle East, Mr. Bruno Mettling.

Representing the Liberian Government were the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Amara Konneh; Justice Minister, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh; Post and Telecommunications Minister, Dr. Frederick Norkeh and Minister of Information, Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe. Others are the Legal Advisor to the President, Cllr. Seward Cooper; Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, Mrs. Elfreda Tamba; National Investment Commission's Executive Director, Mr. George Wisner; and the Chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority, Ms. Angelique Weeks.

Orange recently announced that it has entered into a firm agreement with Cellcom Telecommunications Limited to acquire, through its subsidiary Orange Côte d'Ivoire, 100 percent of Cellcom's Liberia subsidiary.

Orange is expected to provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the network operator, enhance services to consumers and contribute to the economic growth of Liberia. They assured that Cellcom's funders and employees will remain involved in the business to ensure a smooth integration, support performance and continued long-standing relations with the Government of Liberia. To this, the President responded that she is contended that there is a continuity of the present leadership and management in the operation and running of company.

Orange is one of the world's leading telecommunications operators with sales of €39 billion in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide as at September 30, 2015, including 98,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services.

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