Gabon Telecom revenues soar despite industrial action
By Issa Sikiti da Silva
Gabon Telecom (GT) revenue seems to have brushed aside a series of strikes that disrupted the company’s activities in the past 12 months, and angered its subscribers over signal cuts.
The landline, mobile and internet company, 51% owned by Maroc Telecom, has surprised industry watchers with a sterling performance during the past financial year.
The results show that GT turnover for 2014 amounts at 108 billion FCFA (over US$200 million), an increase of 21% compared to 2013.
The performance resulted from growth on its mobile operations run by Libertis, a company that merged with GT when Maroc Telecom bought it in 2007.
In terms of the number of mobile users, GT seems to be getting close to leader Airtel, scooping 1.18 million as by 31 December. Internet uptake grew by 8.5% and landline users decreased by 3.9% to stand at 18 000 users.
But if the management seems happy with the revenue increase, workers still long for more industrial action, which some say could force the owners to come back to their senses.
"This is the way it is. They are celebrating while we are crying. Next time we take to the streets, it will be the end of the company,” one disgruntled worker said in Libreville this week.
Meanwhile, the internet and telephone calls black-out that brought the capital Libreville to a technological standstill last week has been restored and life appears to have gone back to normal.