The visiting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) which owns Celtel International Dr Saad Al Barrak has said in Freetown that they (MTC group) have invested more than 90 million dollars so far in Sierra Leone and this year (2007) they are looking forward to investing another 26 or 27 million dollars.
Dr Barrak who was speaking to the local media last evening on the first day of his visit to the country explained that “Today we have more than 30 million subscribers or customers, we have close to 3,700 employees … and our aspiration is that by 2011 through a new strategy that we call ACE which is Accelerate Consolidate and Expand to reach a company with market value of more than 30 billion dollars – today our market capitalization is more than 20 billion.”
The Celtel CEO also disclosed that they aspire to be in 20 or more countries with 70 million customers by 2011
He maintained that they are “a very serious company” and that “Since April 2005 until today we have invested more than $8 billion in Africa alone and by the end of 2007 we will be investing more than $10 billion” adding that “this is the largest ever single investment by a private company in the history of Africa.”
The MTC boss stated that they “are in Africa to make history and not be a product of history.”
He disclosed that the Celtel staffs in Sierra Leone “are beyond our expectations.”
On the issue of latest technology Dr Al Barak disclosed that Celtel (SL) will in the next month or two unveil their GPRS, noting “we are committed to bring in the latest technology.”
The MTC Boss promised that they will encourage other Kuwaiti businesses to come in and invest in the country by their presence here.
On the issue of why they came to Sierra Leone during the war, Dr Barrak maintained that they are present in countries like Chad, DR Congo and also the biggest network in Iraq because “by being their and insisting to be there, because wherever there is danger there is opportunity and to be courageous we have to stand by these people in these countries because telecommunications becomes as critical as the ambulance system and the digital system and the life support system in general ..we fell that by being there we could be privy to the peacemaking by enabling people to talk to each other eand to exchange dialogue with each other and to fall in love with each other we think we can bring more peace and prosperity>
He ended saying” We want you to fall in love with us and remember us always as good people who have brought more prosprity to the country”.