Africell launches services in new DRC provinces

Expansion into North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika extends Africell services in DRC to an additional 4 million potential customers

17 November 2023 | Africell’s footprint in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has expanded significantly with the launch of services across the south-east of the country.

With Africell coverage now present in North Kivu (home to the city of Goma), South Kivu (Bukavu and Uvira) and Tanganyika (Kalemie), the brand’s affordable and reliable mobile services are available to up to four million additional customers.


Image: Maître Prisca Luanda Kamala represented the Governor of North Kivu at the official launch event for Africell services in North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika. The event took place in the city of Bukavu.

Establishing network coverage in the region was an eighteen-month project requiring the deployment of almost 100 cell sites and the development of a major data center in Goma. Local customers will be able to take advantage of Africell’s high-quality 2G, 3G and 4G network offering, corporate services, and Afrimoney, Africell’s mobile money platform. Known popularly as ‘Le Réseau du Peuple’ (‘the network of the people’), Africell’s low prices position it as the preferred provider for millions of ordinary Congolese consumers. 

During the rollout process, over one and half thousand jobs were created in related construction, manufacturing and other supply chain roles, and 150 permanent posts have been created for Africell corporate staff, network technicians and customer-facing agents. Africell has committed to a long-term investment plan for the region, based around careful management of ongoing political and security risk.

“The south east of DRC has enormous economic potential”, says Jacques Gergi, Africell DRC’s Regional Director. “However, when it comes to digital connectivity, it hasn’t always received enough investment. The regional launch of Africell is an important step because it will give affordable digital tools to potentially millions more Congolese people, unlocking economic growth and supporting jobs, entrepreneurship, education and more”. 

The second biggest country in Africa by landmass, DRC’s population of 110 million people is split roughly evenly between urban and rural areas according to the World Bank. The growth of the telecoms sector over the past two decades has helped bridge the gap, connecting previously isolated communities and linking disparate urban populations together with benefits in the form of economic growth and reduced regional inequalities.

Milad Khairallah, CEO of Africell DRC, says that the launch in North and South Kivu and Tanganyika will boost broader efforts to increase connectivity across the country. “Helping the whole country, and not just the capital city, to fulfil its economic and social potential, is a key government priority. By expanding Africell’s coverage footprint into these new areas we are contributing to this broader mission by giving valuable mobile access to a significant number of potential customers”.

Africell is the only US-owned mobile network operator in Africa and is a recipient of funding from the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). During the 2023 G7 Summit, President Joe Biden highlighted Africell’s role as a connectivity partner to the ‘Lobito Corridor’, a multilateral initiative intended to increase international investment into DRC, Angola and Zambia.

In addition to the three new provinces, Africell DRC is active in Kinshasa, Haut Katanga, Lualaba, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Mai-Ndombe, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental, Lomami and Haut Lomami. 


Image: Bukavu, a picturesque city in DRC’s South Kivu province, is a key node in Africell’s expanded regional mobile network.