New Econet Chairman: data the next frontier

The battle to get Zimbabweans connected for voice is over, and the next phase is ensuring every man, woman and child has access to the Internet, says Econet Wireless Zimbabwe’s new Chairman, Dr James Myers.

Myers was speaking after he chaired an Extraordinary General Meeting that unanimously approved a “ten: one” share split. Hedescribed Econet Wireless Zimbabwe as a world class operation that can stand “toe to toe” with operations from anywhere in the world.

He said he was proud to take on the role as the new chairman. “When you are analysing a telecoms business, it is not about how big it is in comparison to its peers in countries like South Africa, but rather what we call key performance ratios. If you compare Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, it outperforms many of the leading players in Africa, in terms of factors like profitability, net income ratios, staffing ratios, as well as efficiency ratios on how it deploys capital and so on,” Myers said.

“Econet Wireless Zimbabwe came from a situation in 2008 when it had its margins totally destroyed by the highest inflation in recorded history; penetration in Zimbabwe at 13% was the second lowest in Africa, but in less than 5 years, it led the most remarkable roll out to ensure that every Zimbabwean can have a cell phone. We consider that a miracle, and that is why the company is so highly respected worldwide,” he said.

On the quest to ensure internet penetration, Myers said:  "The company is already well on track to ensuring that this happens within five years. We already have 3.1 million mobile Internet users on the network; there is no operator in Africa that can boast that level of 3G penetration of its population, not even in South Africa.”

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