The largest mobile phone service provider in the country, Airtel officially recognized children born on the 19th November 2010 in selected Government Hospitals in Freetown. This day was chosen for the simple fact that Sierra Leoneans gained communication freedom on this day. This Sierra Leone has been involved in this freedom through Airtel, a global brand now operating in Sierra Leone. Zain re-branded to Bharti Airtel marking the second time the company has changed its identity since being introduced to Sierra Leone 10 years ago.
Bharti Airtel, the fifth largest telecommunications provider in the world last week completed the rebranding of its acquisition deal of Kuwait-based Zain’s operations in 15 African countries and Seychelles at a cost of $10.7 billion.
The children born on this day in the following hospitals were automatically recognized as Airtel Babies; Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Marie Stopes – Aberdeen Road & 34 Military Hospital, Wilberforce. A total of 7 lucky babies were identified, four from PCMH, nil from 34 Military Hospital and three from Marie Stopes, of which there were 2 boys and 5 girls.
For and on behalf of Airtel, and for being born on the 19th November 2010, Airtel Sierra Leone donated cash prizes of Le.500, 000.00, phone with SIM card and Airtel T-shirt to the mothers of each baby identified. This venture according to the Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications, Mr. Kelvin Kellie was a unique step in a drive to live the brand of Airtel. “These children are now born in the brand and will continue to be branded Airtel Babies in such a way that their growth is going to be monitored” said Mr. Kelvin Kellie.
The mothers of these Airtel babies were first of all surprised at the unexpected good-will and later on commended Airtel for giving their babies what they called a very good start in life. Names and addresses of the mothers are as follows:
Madusu Kamara 70 Pratt Street, New England 076421058
Adiza Grant 32 Whenzle Street 076156970
Fatmata Sesay 27 Lucas Street 076421076
Ann-Marie Bangura 42 Hill Station 076421066
Francess Sesay Leceister Rowe, BLK D
Fatmata Bello Jaye 11 Spurr Road 076421059
Mariama Bah 10 Hill Cot Road 076421075
The new face of the mobile provider is expected to usher in new corporate and management strategies within the group to reflect Bharti’s ownership and also to consolidate its enviable position in Sierra Leone’s highly competitive telecommunication market.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr. RVS Bhullar said Airtel is focusing on rural areas by expanding its coverage in the country by 90 per cent and lowering communication costs.