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Celtel facts

  • Story Highlights
  • Company was founded by Mo Ibrahim in 1989 as MSI Cellular Investments
  • Initially a consultancy firm, 1998 it became a mobile telephony company
  • It has networks in 15 African countries, covering a third of Africa's population
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The company began life in 1989 as MSI Cellular Investments, a telecommunications consultancy company based and operating in Africa. It was founded by Dr Mo Ibrahim.


In January, 2004 the company changed its name to Celtel International.

In the early days, employees were rewarded with bonuses consisting of shares, so that by 2000, 30 percent of the company was owned by staff.

Although the shares were worthless until the company was listed on the stock exchange, they were given an estimated initial value of £0.14 ($0.28) each. When they were eventually bought out in 2005, they were worth £14 ($27.76).

In 1998 the company expanded its services to become a mobile telephony operator and now has a series of networks in 15 different African countries, under licenses that cover more than a third of the total population of the continent.

The company was acquired by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC (MTC) in 2005 and at the time, Celtel had 4,000 employees, of which 98% were African.

Celtel has invested more than $750 million in Africa, as part of a goal to build and operate world-class networks that will keep pace technologically with networks in Europe and North America. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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