Uganda’s third largest mobile network operator (MNO) Africell is to close its doors next month. The company announced that 7 October will be its last day of operation, with its more than two million subscribers to be given help to migrate to rival networks before that date. Africell currently claims around 10% of the Ugandan mobile sector, which is dominated by MTN and Airtel, but it has struggled recently due to financial constraints and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parent company said its decision to close was ‘based on a careful assessment of the long-term commercial outlook for the business’.
Africell Holding entered the Ugandan telecoms scene in November 2014 when it acquired a majority interest in Orange Uganda from Orange Group. It later bought out the other main shareholder, HiTS Telecom. Africell Holding also has subsidiaries in Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia and Sierra Leone, with a planned launch in Angola by the end of 2021.