Africell Angola hosts U.S. Secretary of State

• U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Africell Angola’s Luanda head office 

• Trip emphasises opportunities for US-Angolan trade and investment

Image:  A billboard in central Luanda welcoming Secretary Blinken to Angola 

25 January 2024 | Africell has welcomed the most senior U.S. diplomat, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, to its office in Luanda, Angola. Secretary Blinken’s visit came during an official trip to the country.

During his visit to Africell’s headquarters, Secretary Blinken met representatives of other American businesses operating in Angola, including firms in the technology, energy, consumer goods and other sectors. He saw Africell’s data center, which is an anomaly among telecommunications networks in Africa for having been built entirely with secure technology, and he toured 10A, a high-tech gallery and art space dedicated to Angolan creativity and cultural collaboration which was created by the Africell Impact Foundation.

Secretary Blinken’s trip to Angola - which was preceded by stops in Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria - comes as the United States is deepening its economic and political engagement on the continent. For example: through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI), a flagship U.S. and G7 initiative to boost infrastructure investments in emerging markets, the ‘Lobito Corridor’ region of southern Africa (encompassing Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo) is being transformed into an exciting destination for US and other international investors, especially in transportation, clean energy and telecommunications. The Lobito Corridor provides a strategic link to the Atlantic Ocean and, according to Secretary Blinken, “has transformative potential for Angola, the continent, and the world”.


Image: Secretary Blinken speaking to Kátia Da Conceição, Managing Director of Afrimoney Angola, during a visit to the Luanda office of Africell, the only U.S.-owned mobile network operator in Africa.

Speaking during his trip, Secretary Blinken echoed sentiments previously expressed by President Joseph Biden when explaining the United States’s growing policy focus on Africa. “America and Africa’s futures, their peoples, their prosperity are linked and joined as never before”, he said. “The United States is committed to strengthening genuine partnerships on the continent, to working to solve shared challenges, and to delivering on the promise and the fundamental aspirations of our peoples.”

Africell is the only U.S.-owned mobile network operator in Africa. It launched services in Angola in April 2022 and has already attracted almost five and half million customers in the country, equivalent to more than 20% of total market share. Also present in DRC, Sierra Leone and Gambia, Africell supports U.S. and local interests across the continent by prioritising secure network infrastructure, creating skilled jobs, driving financial inclusion through its Afrimoney mobile money platform, and sponsoring artistic and cultural exchange through the Africell Impact Foundation. The United States government, via the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (D.F.C.), is Africell Group’s biggest external investor, and Africell was the first mobile operator in Africa to receive D.F.C. financing: testament to Africell’s record and the strategic importance of digital communications to American economic and political strategy in Africa.

“Africell is honoured to have hosted Secretary Blinken”, said Ziad Dalloul, CEO, President and Founder of Africell. “Angola is an appealing place to do business, which is why we have invested in building a trusted and secure mobile telecommunications network. Secretary Blinken’s visit proves that the U.S. government has a similarly positive view of Angola’s potential and that of the other countries comprising the Lobito Corridor region. We hope that Africell’s success in Angola will inspire other American and international businesses to invest here, including but not only under the auspices of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment”.

Image: Secretary Blinken stands with (from left to right) Kory Webster (Chief Operating Officer, Africell Angola), Ziad Dalloul (CEO, President and Founder, Africell Group) and Magase Mogale (Executive Vice President, Africell Group)