Liquid Telecom completes Zambian acquisition as it names two regional CEOs

18 October 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Liquid Telecom has completed the acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in its Zambian subsidiary, CEC Liquid Telecom, strengthening its Southern Africa operations.

The remaining shares have been acquired from Copperbelt Energy Corporation PLC and will help to facilitate the group’s digital transformation strategy through an enhanced operating model and the benefit of 100% of the cash flows from CEC Liquid Telecom and its retail arm, Hai Zambia.

It was announced in August that Liquid Telecoms’ parent company had acquired Zambia’s Hai Telecommunications (Hai) for an undisclosed sum.

“The acquisition of CEC Liquid Telecom represents another major milestone towards the delivery of Liquid Telecom’s vision to build Africa’s digital future,” said Nic Rudnick (pictured), Liquid Telecom Group CEO, who Capacity interviewed in our August/September magazine.

“We have continued to expand the footprint of our network and broadened our award-winning product offering. These actions reinforce our position as a leader in cloud networking and digital transformation. We look forward to bringing the benefits of this acquisition to our valued clients across the region.”

By acquiring the remaining shares in the company, Liquid Telecom will be able to:

  • Focus on growing its wholesale, enterprise and retail offering across Zambia, resulting in improved customer service and the delivery of new products. This includes cloud-based services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Stack, which will now be hosted locally in Zambia for the first time.
  • Invest further in its fibre network in Zambia, providing businesses and consumers with greater reach and network speeds across the country.
  • Connect Zambia to Liquid Telecom’s “One Africa” broadband network, allowing access to the single largest independent fibre network on the continent – stretching all the way from Cape Town to Cairo.

Liquid Telecom and CEC first entered into the joint venture in 2011, and during this time it has invested in the rollout of a fibre optic network across Zambia that today delivers some of the country’s and Africa’s fastest broadband speeds. Andrew Kapula has been managing director of CEC Liquid Telecom since July 2014.

Serving a range of wholesale, enterprise and retail customers, CEC Liquid Telecom recently launched a leading 4G LTE network in all 10 provinces of the country. Earlier this year, the company also began offering Microsoft Office 365 to businesses of all sizes in Zambia accessed through its leading-edge fibre network.

The Zambian operations will form a key part of Liquid Telecom’s focus on the Southern Africa region, alongside Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana.

Adil Youssefi & Wellington Makamure

Liquid Telecom Zambia will sit under the leadership of the new regional CEO of Southern Africa, Wellington Makamure (pictured on the right), who joined Liquid Telecom in 2009 and has become an established leader in the Zimbabwean telecoms market.

In the new role, Makamure will be directly responsible for the leadership, strategic and operational management of Liquid Telecom’s wholesale, enterprise and retail businesses throughout Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana.

“The first centimetre of Liquid Telecom’s network was laid in Zimbabwe and Wellington has played an important role in establishing the country as a centre of excellence that can serve as an inspiration to our other businesses throughout the Southern African region,” said Ahmad Mokhles, Group chief operating officer, Liquid Telecom.

The pan-African telecoms group has also appointed Adil Youssefi (pictured on the left) as new regional CEO of East Africa, who will oversee five key markets in the region: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. An internal promotion, Youssefi has served as CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya since April 2017, helping to further strengthen the company’s strong position in the local market.

Both regional CEO roles are new positions within Liquid Telecom and form part of the group’s wider digital transformation strategy. The organisation is migrating to a digitally enhanced operating model that will deliver higher levels of customer experience and ensure for long-term business sustainability.