Orange Africa is a mobile telecommunications company in Africa and the Middle East, founded in 2021 by OWL Ventures and Vuori, both predecessors to Illustrious. It is currently owned by Crown Cellular (in turn owned by Vuori's founder Kasperi Salovaara) and the consortium Orange Africa Holdings Limited.

History

Styhon Battersea Telecommunications Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa Limited was formed out of a merger between ​Axiata Group​, ​Millicom​, ​Bharti Airtel​, ​Zain Group​, ​Vodacom​, ​Global Telecom Holding​/​VEON​, ​Africell​ and ​MTN Group​, integrated with NEQSOL Holding's telecommunications operations, and Vodafone's operations in Oceania, Africa, Asia and Middle East, all under Styhon Battersea's ownership.

Hoot Middle East & Africa was formed out of the consolidation of African assets owned by Orange SA, Altice and Viettel Global, which OWL acquired shortly before founding Orange Africa. Nexttel in Cameroon was merged into Orange Cameroon during the consolidation.

During November and December 2020, Styhon Battersea announced to merge into Vuori, which caused Vuori to consider merging it's African operations with Hoot's African operations. Airtel Africa, Vodacom, Hoot Middle East & Africa, Africell, Moov, Mascom, Maroc Telecom, Touch (Lebanon), Zain, Batelco, Vodafone Africa and MTN Group soon were consolidated into Orange in 2021, under a joint venture between OWL and Vuori.

In February 2021, Orange Africa Holdings Limited absorbed its subsidiary Styhon Battersea Telecommunications Network Development Company and bought an additional 2% stake in the company from Hoot and Crown. They also acquired Mauritius Telecom, Eritel, Evatis, Comores Telecom, MTN Irancell, Almadar Aljadid (Al-Madar), MTC, and Getesa & Gecomsa, which soon were absorbed into Orange Africa, with Mauritius, Eritrea, Djibouti, Comores, Iran, Libya, Namibia and the Equatorial Guinea state respectively joining the consortium - later on, Crown's parent company Lotus managed to buy their stake out in exchange of some Class B shares in itself. During Hoot Telecom's sale of assets, they sold their 34% stake in Orange Africa to OAHL and Crown, with Crown taking the majority. Orange Africa will still operate under the Orange brand through a licensing deal that will expire on December 31, 2024.

In March 2021, MTN Mobile Money, tigo Pesa, Mobi Cash, JazzCash and Flous were merged into Orange Bank, which Orange Africa operates in serving countries under license from Orange. Orange Africa Holdings Limited announced a partnership between Orange Africa and Better Than Cash Alliance to start heavily promoting digital and mobile payments in the Middle East and Africa, to small and regular businesses, later that year.

Ownership structure

During the formation of Orange Africa, Hoot and Crown settled on the former getting a majority stake, since they owned all rights to the Orange brand. Orange Africa works as a licensee.

  • Crown (55% equity stake; 49% voting power)
  • Governments of Saudi Arabia (through GOSI, TeleInvest and PIF) and Vietnam (through Viettel) in association with Crown's parent company Lotus (owning 75% of this venture) and the governments of United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Nigeria, Iran and Qatar, along with investors from the countries (45% equity stake held collectively under Orange Africa Holdings Limited; 51% voting power)

Presence

Country Year when founded/branded as Orange Formerly known as Ranking
Afghanistan 2021 Etisalat (2007-2021)
MTN (2008-2021)
1st?
Algeria 2021 Djeezy (2001-2021)
Ooredoo:
Nedjma (2004-2013)
Ooredoo (2013-2021)
1st?
Angola 2021 Movicel (2003-2021)

Unitel​ and Multitel (???-2021)

1st
Bahrain 2021 Batelco (1981-2021)
Zain:
MTC-Vodafone (2003-200?)
Zain (200?-2021)
1st
Benin 2021 Spacetel (????-2006)
MTN (2006-2021)
Moov (????-2021)
1st
Botswana 2003 Vista Cellular (1998-2003)
MASCOM (1998-2021)
1st
Burkina Faso 2016 Onatel (1994-2021) 1st
Burundi 2021 Lumitel (2014-2021) 2nd
Cabo Verde 2021 CV Móvel 1st
Democratic Republic of Congo 2012 Vodacom (2002-2021)
Africell (2012-2021)
Orange DRC:
Congo Chine Télécoms (2001-2012)
Airtel DRC:
Celtel (2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Cameroon 2002 MTN (2000-2021)
Nexttel (2014-2021)
Orange Cameroon:
Mobilis (1999-2002)
1st
Central African Republic 2007 Moov (2005-2021) 1st or 2nd?
Comoros 2021 Comores Telecom (2004-2021) 1st
Chad 2021 Tigo (2005-2021)
Airtel:
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Republic of the Congo 2021 MTN (2000-2021)
Airtel:
MSI Cellular Investments (1998-2004)
Celtel (2004-2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Djibouti 2021 Evatis 1st
Egypt 2016 Etisalat Misr (2007-2021)

Orange Egypt:

Mobinil (1998-2016)

1st?
Equatorial Guinea 2021? Getesa and Gecomsa 1st
Eritrea 2021 Eritel (1996-2021) 1st
Eswatini 2021 MTN (1998-2021) 1st
Gabon 2021 Moov (2000?-2021)
Gabon Telecom/Libertis (1999-2021)
Airtel:
Celtel (2000-2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Gambia 2021 Africell (2001-2021) 1st
Ghana 2021 MTN (1994-2021)
AirtelTigo:
Airtel (1990?-2017)
Tigo (1991-2017)
AirtelTigo (2017-2021)
Vodafone:
Ghana Telecom (1974-2009)
Vodafone (2009-2021)
1st
Guinea 2007 MTN (2006?-2021) 1st
Guinea-Bissau 2008? Spacetel (1994-2006)
MTN (2006-2021)
1st
Iran 2021 MTN Irancell 2nd
Iraq 2021 Asiacell (1999-2021)
Zain:
MTC-Vodafone (2003?-2007)
Zain (2008-2021)
1st
Ivory Coast 2002 Ivoiris (1996-2002)
MTN (1996-2021)
Moov (2006-2021)
1st
Jordan 1999 Jordan Telecom (1971-2021; merged with Zain Jordan into Orange)

Umniah​ (2006-2021; merged into Orange) Orange Jordan (1999-present)

Zain Jordan:

Fastlink (1994-2007?)
Zain (2007?-2021)

1st
Kenya 1999 (original)
2021 (current)
Orange Kenya:
Telkom Kenya (2011-present)
Airtel:
Celtel (2000-2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
2nd
Kuwait 2021 MTC (1983-2007)
Zain (2007-2021)
1st
Lebanon 2021 Touch (2004-2021) 1st
Lesotho 2021 Vodacom (1996-2021) 1st
Liberia 2017 Cellcom (2004-2017)
Lonestar Cell (2000-2021)
1st
Libya 2021 MTN Libya and Al-Madar 1st
Madagascar 2003 Antaris (1998-2003)
Airtel:
Madacom (1997-2006)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Malawi 2021 Celtel (1999-2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Mali 2006 Orange Mali:

Ikatel (2003-2006)

Sotelma/Malitel:

Sotelma (1989-2021) & Malitel (2000?-2021)

1st
Mauritania 2021 Mauritel (1999-2021)

Chinguitel (???-2021)

1st
Mauritius 2008 Cellplus (1992?-2008)

Mauritius Telecom (company, 1992-2021)

1st
Mayotte 2017? 2nd
Morocco (and Western Sahara) 2016 Meditel (1999-2016)
Maroc Telecom (1998-2021)
Inwi (Zain):
Wanadoo Maroc/Wanadoo Connect (1999-2004)
Maroc Connect (2004-2009)
Inwi (2009-2021)
1st
Mozambique 2021 Vodacom (2003-2021)

Movitel (2012-2021)

1st?
Namibia 2021 MTC (1995-2021) 1st
Niger 2008

Moov (2000?-2021)
Airtel:
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)

1st
Nigeria 2021 MTN (1994?-2021)
Airtel:
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Oman 2021 Oman Future Telecommunications/Vodafone Oman (2018-2021)
Ooredoo:
Nawras (2004-2015)
Ooredoo (2015-2021)
1st?
Palestine (sometimes referred to as Palestinian territories) 2021 Ooredoo Palestine 2nd
Qatar 2021 Vodafone (2008-2021)
Ooredoo:
Qtel (1987-2013)
Ooredoo (2013-2021)
1st
Reunion 2000 2nd?
Rwanda 2021 MTN Rwandacell (Crystal Telecom Rwanda)

Tigo

Airtel

1st
São Tomé (and Príncipe) 2021 CST 1st
Saudi Arabia 2021 Zain (2008-2021) 1st?
Senegal 2021 Sonatel (1989-2021)

Tigo:

Sentel (1999-2006)
Tigo (2006-2021)

1st
Seychelles 2021 Telecom Seychelles (1998-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Sierra Leone 2017 Africell (2005-2021)
Airtel:
Celtel (1998?-2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2017)
1st
South Africa 2021 Cell C (2001-2021)
MTN (1994-2021)
1st?
South Sudan 2021 MTN Sudan (2005-2011?)
MTN South Sudan (2011?-2021)
Sudani:
Sudatel (1993-2011)
Sudani (2011-2021)
Zain:
Mobitel (1996-2007)
Zain (2007-2021)
1st
St. Helena and Ascension Island 2021 Sure Mobile (????-2021)
Sudan 2021 MTN (2005-2021)
Sudatel (1993-2021)
Zain:
Mobitel (1996-2007)
Zain (2007-2021)
1st
Syria 2021 Areeba (2001-2007)
MTN (2007-2021)
1st
Tanzania 2021 Vodacom (2000-2021)

Halotel​ (2015-2021)
Tigo:
Mobitel (1994-2006)
Tigo (2006-2021)
Airtel:
Celtel (????-2007)
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)

1st
Togo 2021 Moov (2002-2021) 2nd
Tunisia 2009 Orange Tunisia (2009-)

Ooredoo:

Tunisiana (2004-2014)
Ooredoo Tunisie (2014-2021)

1st
Uganda 2008 (original)
2021 (current)
Orange Uganda:
Africell (2014-2021)
Airtel:
Zain (2008-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
MTN:
MTN (1998-2021)
1st
United Arab Emirates 2021 Etisalat (1976-2021) 1st
Yemen 2021 Spacetel (2000-2007)
MTN (2007-2021)
1st
Zambia 2021 MTN (1994?-2021)
Airtel:
Zain (2007-2010)
Airtel (2010-2021)
1st
Zimbabwe 2021 Telecel 2nd

They have joint ventures with Ericsson and Siemens to improve Orange's networks in Middle East and Africa.

Subsidiaries and stakes

  • Roshan​ (12.25%) - Afghanistan; inherited from Telia Company acquisition
  • Expresso Telecom​ (75%) - Ghana and Senegal
  • Tunisie Telecom​ - 15% stake; Tunisia, acquired in 2020
  • Safaricom​ - 40% stake; Kenya
  • 9mobile - majority stake; Nigeria
  • Mobily​ - 27% stake; Saudi Arabia
  • ​ Emtel (50%) - Mauritius
  • Kenya Postel Directories (60%) - Kenya
  • Sabafon​ (~27%) - Yemen
  • Vodacom - South Africa
  • Korek Telecom​ (20%) - Iraqi Kurdistan
  • Ufone​ - 26% stake; Pakistan
  • ​ELTA (55%) - Angolan phone directory company
  • Jazz​ - Pakistan
  • Somali Telecom Group
  • Orange Ethiopia - a joint venture with ​Ethio Telecom​, through which they will improve mobile services and also offer them through the Orange brand
  • Vodafone Egypt
  • Orange Bank Africa

See also

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