Global aspirations: Zain rebrands Celtel Africa operations


1 August 2008 – Nairobi, Kenya – Zain Group, the leading telecommunications mobile operator servicing over 50 million customers in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa, today announced it has re-branded its entire African operations from Celtel to Zain ( The move coincides with the linking of the world’s first borderless mobile service ‘One Network’ across two continents.

14 country operations across Africa will immediately rebrand to Zain, namely: Burkina Faso, Chad, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Zain will launch its mobile operation in Ghana later in 2008.

At a press conference held in Nairobi, Dr. Saad Al Barrak, Zain Group’s Chief Executive Officer, noted:  “By rebranding to Zain, we are bringing together our African and Middle East operations under a single, strong and unique identity. We believe the Zain brand provides an optimal platform upon which we can build a top 100 global brand with the ultimate goal of better serving our customers. It builds upon the success of our African operations and will propel the Zain Group towards becoming one of the top ten global mobile telecommunications companies by 2011.”

To mark the launch of its new colourful identity across Africa, Zain also announced the creation of the world’s first cross-continental borderless network, extending and linking its ‘One Network’ service between Africa and the Middle East. The service will be available to 500 million people stretching from the west coast of Africa to the Middle East, covering an area larger than the United States of America. One Network allows Zain customers affordable cross-border communications, helping friends and families stay connected.

“This truly is a defining moment in the history of global telecommunications. The connecting of One Network across two continents demonstrates how under one brand, Zain is able to offer enhanced mobile telephony services. Going forward it will now be easier and more affordable for people to keep in touch and support cross-continent trade and enterprise. This is the essence of the Zain brand promise to create ‘A wonderful world’” commented Dr Al Barrak.

From today, all Zain customers (pre-paid and post-paid) in Africa and the Middle East using ‘One Network’ will enjoy the benefits of being treated as a ‘local’ customer wherever they are. Customers can make calls and send messages at local rates when communicating with a travelling Zain customer who will receive incoming calls free-of-charge and be able to make calls back home at local rates. Pre-paid customers can also top up their phones with recharge cards bought from either their home country or more than one million outlets available in one of the 15 One Network countries. The One Network service is automatically activated upon crossing the geographic border into one of the countries, with no prior registration required or sign-up fee.

Chris Gabriel, CEO Zain in Africa said “We are confident that our African customers will embrace the vibrant and colourful Zain identity. As one brand, we will be better positioned to offer customers more innovative products and services alongside the best network coverage on the continent.”

The rebranding of Celtel comes less than a year after the Zain brand became the Group’s master corporate brand that was successfully launched across its Middle Eastern markets.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.

1 Comment

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