Airtel to invest $100 mn in Rwanda; to launch 3G next qtr

Airtel to invest $100 mn in Rwanda; to launch 3G next qtr New Delhi: With an aim to expand its footprint in Africa, Bharti Airtel Sunday said it would invest USD 100 million in the next three years in Rwanda and plans to offer 3G services in the country within the next quarter.

Bharti Airtel CEO (International) and Joint MD Manoj Kohli called on Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, to discuss the company's progress in the country, the company said.

During the meeting, Kohli reinforced Airtel's commitment to work with the government in supporting the knowledge-based economy.

"Airtel plans to invest USD 100 million in its operations over the next three years and will work towards generating both direct and indirect employment opportunities within its ecosystem", the company said in a statement.

Kohli said Kigali, Rwanda's capital, "is currently operating on a 2G network, the company also plans to launch 3G services in the market within the upcoming quarter".

The company said it would also be bringing in partners like IBM and Ericsson to set up and manage world-class facilities in the country.

Kohli's visit to the African country comes two months after Airtel launched operations in Rwanda.

Bharti Airtel already has its presence in 16 African countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Bharti Airtel made its entry in to Africa by acquiring Kuwait-based Zain Telecom for about USD 10.7 billion (about Rs 48,000 crore).

PTI