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Two Somali, Kenyan telecom giants recognized as Africa-changing companies

The two companies, based in Kenya and Somalia have been praised for their efforts in accelerating the pace of economic growth, development, and Improvements in mobile and broadband access is one of the poorest and underdeveloped areas in the world.

By Judy Maina,

NAIROBI –  For their actions in improving the telecom industries of their respective countries and connecting people to fundamental services and markets, two major telecom companies  from Somalia and Kenya have been recognized as pioneers of corporate actions on continental development.

In its annual African corporate assessments issued last week, the Africa Business Journal has identified Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecom company and Hormuud, the largest telecom company in Somalia as some of the most fundamental enablers of private sector growth and job creations, especially in emerging markets.

In addition, the assessment also recognized the two companies as Africa-changing corporates, thanks to their efforts in accelerating the pace of economic growth, development, and Improvements in mobile and broadband access is one of the poorest and underdeveloped areas in the world.

“Despite challenges, the work of these two companies have had significant impacts on people’s lives  and made cellular an affordable mass market phenomenon.” says Jay Kacely, the executive director of the journal.

The report has also singled out the two companies for the implementation of the undersea fiber-optic cable services that provide internet access to remote towns in both Kenya and Somalia that improved the overall connectivity in the two neighboring countries..

“The progressive work by these two companies is also addressing important social problems.” he noted.


In Somalia, telecommunications is one major area of success in the country which shows dramatic and relative improvements in the industry since Somalia became stateless in 1991, moving from 29th to 8th among the African countries, having established one of the most advanced telecommunication services in the continent.

According to a recent survey by the US-based Independent Institute, Somalia ranks highly in mobile phones (16th) and Internet users (11th), thanks to Hormuud Telecom, the largest telecommunication company’s efforts in advancing the country’s telecom industry.

With over 2.5 million subscribers across Somalia, the company’s services have also helped the local populations access to the latest technologies, increasing the efficiency of communications, and reducing the cost of services.

As the horn of Africa nation is struggling to move beyond the failed state, the improvement in the telecommunications industry that achieved standards that are equal or superior to many other African nations is seen as a major breakthrough in efforts aimed at driving sustainable economies in the long-chaotic nation.


Despite facing  a stiff market competition in the liberalized Kenyan market, Safaricom which  has over 19.2 million, across East Africa has been successful in adding value to the industry, helping rebuild telecom infrastructure, a scenario which increased access to fixed, mobile, and high-speed internet services by people across the region.

The development and expansions by the company which provides cross-border services is expected to increase the number of its subscribers by 30% in the next five years, according to telecommunication experts in the region.

“During our months-long assessment, we were impressed by the resilience and transparency of these two companies that boosted confidence of their investors in addition to their corporate preparedness for changing market demands.”  Kacely said in an interview with Alleastafrica on Wednesday.

(Additional reporting and editing by Jeff Mwaura in Nairobi, Kenya)

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