PEOPLE

More

* Amnon Avissar, Director-General of Sentel says that his company won’t wait for the liberalisation of telecoms (2004) in Senegal before demonstrating its telecoms expertise. It is particularly critical of Sonatel’s monopoly:"The monopoly is a bad thing for the development of the economy, particularly the telecommunications sector. There are several different services that the operators and providers can’t offer today because of the monopoly. The day’s coming when the monopoly will be a thing of the past and the Senegalese will want the best performing services they can get. That’s not just mobile services but all telecoms services and these need to be made much more available for Senegalese consumsers." Sentel wanted to look at fixed line and public telephony. In his meeting with the press, he also announced the lowering of its mobile tariffs to 100 FCFAs per minute, a rate he claimed was the lowest in West Africa.

* Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of Nigerian mobile consumer group NATCOMS (which mounted the recent switch-off campaign) is planning other strategies to combat the alleged mistreatment of subscribers by the networks. Although guarded about what these might be he did say that it might include picketing the offices of the mobile companies. A number of other organisations have also got involved. Probity in Nigeria (PIN), an NGO based in Enugu described the services as a rip-off and also consequently mobilized support for the crusade. So did the National Association of Mobile Phone Subscribers (NANPS) led by Professor Bunmi Ayoade of the Social Sciences Department, University of Ibadan. A spokesman for Econet Wireless Nigeria, Emeka Opara (quoted in the Daily Champion) had however, earlier described the protest as unnecessary insisting that his company has since improved on its services. Another consumer rights group, TELSRAD was led by Mr. Ene Baba-Owoh, who claimed his group has engaged over 2,000 lawyers (yes that figure does read 2,000) nationwide to ensure that the rights of Nigerian Consumers, are not undermined.

http://www.itweb.co.za/events/itpersonalityoftheyear/2003/default.asp

* Hassan Kabbani who has worked for thirty years in the telecoms industry is the new Director General of Orascom Telecom Algérie.

* Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa gets a lot of trouble with his first name in the Africa press. He has been call Steve (in the Nigerian press) and Clive (in the Kenyan press).