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Nigeria top of mind as Smile appoints Ahmed Farroukh

Nigeria top of mind as Smile appoints Ahmed Farroukh

Pan-African telecommunications group Smile has announced the appointment of Ahmad Farroukh to its Board as Executive Director for Operations, based effective 1 May.

Farroukh resigned from his role as CEO at Saudi operator Mobily in January before making the move to Smile.

He has previously held executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group, including being CEO of MTN Nigeria for five years, CEO of MTN South Africa and MTN Group Chief Operating Executive.

Irene Charnley, Group CEO at Smile says Farroukh, who will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria, is a perfect fit for the telco’s growth plans. "The African telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad Farroukh is perfectly suited to lead Smile's next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich start-up to the most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Saharan Africa."

Smile's footprint across the continent consists of operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company's 4G LTE offering in Nigeria is currently available in eight cities including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Benin City, Kaduna, Onitsha and Asaba.

Ahmad, who has since been replaced by Ahmed Abdelsalam Abdelrahman as CEO at Mobily, says his new role at the helm of operations for Smile is an honour.

"Africa is experiencing explosive data growth, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the operations of the continent's best 4G LTE network at this exciting time. It has also been a revelation after over 20 years in the industry to witness the power and versatility of Smile's proprietary technology applications and billing platform, which was developed in-house and provides a huge competitive and cost advantage,"

At the announcement of his departure from Mobily in January, the Saudi company, which is registered as Etihad Etisalat Co., said Farroukh led it successfully through its re-stabilisation phase during the 18 months that he spent there due to his expertise in the areas of telecommunications and accounting.

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