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New sustainability report reveals promising future for Airtel Africa

Dar es Salaam. Airtel Africa, which operates in 14 countries across Africa, published its 2024 Sustainability Report on Monday June 10, highlighting a number of achievements across its key sustainability pillars.

The pillars, according to a statement made to the media in Dar es Salaam yesterday, include support for its people and communities, promoting financial and digital inclusion, and initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

The statement quotes Airtel Africa’s outgoing Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya, as saying: “I’m very proud of the strides Airtel Africa has made in advancing our sustainability goals. While targets are vital to driving change, our mission is much bigger: to transform people’s lives through connectivity, products and services that foster digital and financial inclusion while unlocking the potential of the next generation.”

According to the report, Airtel Africa continued to expand telecommunications services, supporting economic growth and development across the continent, with key milestones including growing the customer base to 152.7 million across 14 markets and attaining ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 certifications.

The ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 certifications demonstrate Airtel Africa’s compliance with international standards and commitment to data privacy and security.

The company also expanded the 4G network to reach 70.7 percent of the population in the 14 markets, a 4.9 percent increase since 2022/23.

Airtel Africa also introduced 5G services, which currently cover 4.14 percent of customers, primarily in urban areas.

On the ‘Our people’ category, the report says Airtel Africa’s key milestones include increasing workforce and leadership diversity, with 35.4 percent of new or open leadership roles filled by women.

As such, the representation of women in senior management has risen to 22.3 percent, up from 19.5 percent the previous year.

The company, which invested $1.2 million in a training and development programme, also enhanced diversity and inclusion and advanced female talent through the ‘Women for Technology’ programme which benefited 54 high-performing women as of March 31, 2024.

In transforming the lives of individuals, families and communities across Africa, Airtel drove financial inclusion for unbanked populations by growing Airtel Money’s customer base to 38 million people.

The company also advanced digital learning across Africa through a five-year, $57 million partnership with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which seeks to connect almost 1,200 schools to the internet and provide free access to online educational platforms to thousands of students in 2023/24.

For the environment, the report says Airtel Africa published the ‘Journey Towards a Net Zero Future’ in May 2023, which outlines the scenarios for the reduction of scope 1 and 2 emissions while setting out a near-term target to reduce emissions intensity by 62 percent from the March 2022 baseline.

Among others, it also launched its new multi-million data centre business, Nxtra by Airtel, in December 2023 and began construction of one of Africa’s largest data centres in Lagos, Nigeria, which will incorporate modern energy efficiencies to complement the ongoing work on reducing carbon emissions across existing sites.

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