Furious Customers in Mali Call for a Boycott of Orange
The Malian blogosphere has been buzzing recently. Why? Because users of French multinational Orange's mobile phone services are unhappy. They decided to organize a boycott of the company, which serves 16 African countries, on 1 December 2015.
On one of the Facebook pages created to promote the boycott, which has about 15,000 fans, Meritocratie Malienne explained why people are miffed by comparing Malian phone tarifs with those in Senegal and Niger, two neighbouring countries that use the same currency, the CFA Franc (1 British pound is roughly about 934 CFA francs, while 1 US dollar is about 619 CFA Francs):
Orange Mali had 8 million subscribers in April 2013 and 12.8 million in 2014. It is a subsidiary of France Telecom, a global mobile telecommunications giant which provides several countries with an acceptable, or even good, Internet connection at very reasonable prices. Mali is one of the Orange group's biggest markets, so it should benefit from more consideration. Alas, however, there is a PARADOX: it is only in Mali that the so-called high bandwidth 3G+ Internet connection does not work and is too expensive. It is the same with fibre-optic connections. Judge for yourself: In Senegal, 500Mb costs 2000 CFA Francs, with a high bandwidth. In Niger 500MB costs 500 CFA francs with a good performance. In Mali, it's a nightmare, 500MB costs 4,700 CFA francs with a mediocre bandwidth that often cuts out. It's a rip-off, a con that we must denounce and stop. Orange is not the only Internet service provider in Mali.
Another Facebook page, Boycott Orange Mali, which has 1,251 members, expressed outrage: