Photograph — Guardian Nigeria

One of the dominant telecommunications companies in Africa, French telecom company, Orange has indicated interest to expand into two leading economies in Africa, Nigeria, and South Africa. The disclosure was done by the CEO of the company, Stephane Richard.

“It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa,” Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard, says, according to a report by Reuters. “If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years,” he continues.

The French government holds the largest stake in Orange, which is established in over 18 African countries, which are majorly francophone nations- Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo amongst others.

Orange holds over 130 million subscribers and estimated revenue of €5.2 billion in 2018.

Furthermore, the telecoms company estimates that one in ten mobile African users are Orange subscribers. Orange had recently considered buying a mobile license in Ethiopia after the country announced its telecom space to international bodies.

In January 2020, the European telecom enterprises disclosed that it had a huge interest in Africa’s telecoms market by moving its regional head office for Africa and the middle east to Casablanca, Morocco.

Orange money is also an emerging fintech in Africa, that is responsible for mobile money transfer and funding. The money service which started in Ivory Coast in 2008, has expanded to sixteen other countries ( Botswana, Burkina Faso under the Airtel Money brand Côte d’Ivoire Egypt, branded as Orange Cash) in the continent, as of April this year.

The population strength of Africa, especially in Sub-saharan, with an existing population of 1,038,627,178 and a current growth rate of 2.3% is evidently a promising market for telecommunications.

Orange has already tapped into the market share of the Sub-saharan region, where South Africa and Nigeria belong. But with its current market plan to penetrate both countries, it will further reinforce its market strength and even profit margin.

According to an article by Asoko-Insight, which was dated May 31st, 2019, Orange is ranked the second largest telecommunications service in Africa with 130 million subscribers, while MTN comes first with 150 million.

Although both companies have previously collaborated to execute an African mobile payment company, Mowali. Also, the South African telecom company and French-owned enterprises have partnered in a consortium project that will build Africa’s largest undersea internet cable.

The undersea cable system, 2Africa, is expected to commence operations in 2023/2024, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving the continent at the moment, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

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