Globally renowned Telco, Orange has been present in Sierra Leone for only three years. Yet, it has already firmly stamped its innovative footprint on the country and its telecoms industry. Bringing new era telecommunications to Sierra Leone.
Since the inception of Orange Operations in Sierra Leone, the company has invested about $133 million dollars in the areas of Network modernization and expansion, Human Resources as well as corporate social responsibility in the last three years.
We are pursuing a strong industrial project in Sierra Leone that is geared towards covering most of the country with telecoms services, services that will improve rural connectivity and also our quality of service says Aminata Kane Ndiaye, Orange CEO.
Orange acquired 247 sites, in only three years, Orange has completed a total of 147 new sites, thereby connecting more than 1,170 new localities, with thousands of Sierra Leoneans now accessing data, voice and financial services for the first time. Orange is now a proud owner of 394 sites across the country with the widest coverage in Sierra Leone covering about 74% of the country’s population.
In respect of Human Resources, Orange has invested about $16 million dollars in the last two years. The company prides itself in capacity building by ensuring that its employees benefit from soft skills, technical and leadership training. The company nurtures talent from onboarding, ensures retention and provides exposure opportunities to other orange affiliates.
Orange being a multi-service provider and a responsible corporate citizen, places emphasis on corporate social investment. Orange also prides itself in giving back to Sierra Leone through its robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda.
In the last three years, the company has invested about $400,000 dollars mainly in the areas of women empowerment, health, education and the environment. Orange remains the first operator in Sierra Leone to contribute to the government’s Free Quality Education (FQE) Agenda by pledging the sum of $1.5m in material assistance over a period of five years. In 2019, the company engaged in the following CSR activities:
- Support the Thinking Pink foundation in creating awareness of breast cancer among women through sport – mini-marathon, also providing financial assistance to cancer survivors for treatment.
- Orange Social Venture Prize – to identify and support local entrepreneurs and start-ups.
- Distribution of 2,000 hygiene packs for girls between the ages of 12-18 years in fulfilment of our 2019 FQE commitment.
In readiness for the country’s digital transformation the company also launched the first coding school for young people in Sierra Leone in partnership with the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) with an estimated cost of about LE2.75 billion.
In the area of environment, Orange remains the first company to secure an Environmental Impact Assessment license from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2018 upon the successful completion of an environmental and social impact assessment study with its consultant, CEMMAT. The License is secured annually to ensure that Orange conducts its business responsibly guaranteeing that the impact of the activities of the company to the environment, is mitigated.
In recognition of the role Orange plays in the area of environment, the company received the Outstanding Humanitarian Award by Shout Climate Change Africa in partnership with EPA.
We note with importance, the recognition granted to us as one of Africa’s top business integrity organizations, by Africa Leadership awards, as that serves as a super motivation for us to keep maintaining and improving our organizational structure. Achieving such feat is based on standard systems that we have incorporated into our working environment. We ensure strict adherence of such systems by all employees, regardless of their capacities within the company. We are currently a signatory to the New York Stock Exchange, a renowned company which provides the platform for us to be able to maintain high and consistent business standards. We have six (6) features/key priorities which guide our environment. These six are:
- Our first policy towards maintaining compliance is the support we have been having from the hierarchal structure of our administration and having strong ties with ACC, as they are the country’s leading compliance machine.
- Ensuring governance structure within the company is well monitored to ensure everyone stays within the ambit of the company’s procedures and practices.
- We further ensure that we have a strategic risk map analysis which provides analysis on potential areas we should strengthen, if any, in order to ensure that we stay alert with the ever-changing business environment.
- We further ensure that all policies and procedure are being followed to even 3rd parties dealing with us. We ensure that all contracts have compliance clauses, and we also implemented a whistleblowing mechanism which keeps everyone with our brand on their toes.
- We further ensure that training is conducted for almost all our employees.
- We further have a dedicated department that ensures all specific process and procedure are adhered to.
Notwithstanding the aforesaid, as a result of the aforesaid structures our CEO, Aminata Kane Ndiaye was appointed to serve in our country’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, and such appointment cannot be unconnected to our strong internal compliance policies and procedures.