Airtel fronts for more strategic partnerships to improve Africa’s welfare

Bharti Airtel has today announced it has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with South Africa’s top financial services company Sanlam to distribute insurance and health funding products across the continent.

The agreement targets seven African nations, although on a non-exclusive basis, in which both firms have established presence. Airtel names Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria to fall in this category and says the partnership is focused on improving value for Airtel’s customers as well as increasing access to insurance.

This will in return enable Sanlam to market and freely sell its insurance policies, including Life, General and Health insurance, through Airtel’s far-reaching telecommunications networks in the countries.

Airtel’s director and Africa head of Airtel Money Chidi Okpala said the agreement would offer Airtel’s customers access to a broad range of products and services to support their lifestyles and aspirations.

“This partnership will enable us to significantly enhance the value we offer our loyal customers. Our customers stand to benefit from access to Sanlam’s world-class Life, General and Health Insurance products,” he said.

Commenting on the same, Margaret Dawes, executive director for Africa at Sanlam Emerging Markets said: “We are passionate about supplying sound financial solutions to the wider African market and are delighted by this opportunity to provide our services and solutions through Airtel’s network.

“We look forward to providing competitive products that meet the client’s needs – drawing on our collective years of experience and research in these markets.”

With its head office is in Bellville near Cape Town in South Africa, Sanlam has operations throughout South Africa and business interests elsewhere in Africa, Europe, India, the USA and Australia. It offers financial solutions including insurance, personal financial services such as estate planning, trusts, wills and personal loans.

Other services include health management, savings and linked products, business fitness assessment, asset management, stock broking, employee benefits, risk management and capital market activities.

Like Airtel, more mobile operators are also focusing interest on the continent’s social welfare status:

Mobile network operator Tigo earlier today announced it has partnered with Reach for Change, a child-specific non-profit in a venture focused on starting a social entrepreneurship program to improve the lives of children living in Africa. The two have a joint program running in countries including DRC, Chad, Senegal, Rwanda and Tanzania. The program, which was piloted in Ghana, according to Tigo reached an estimated 140,000 children in last year alone.

Kenya’s Safaricom Foundation, owned by telecom operator Safaricom, is also currently running social welfare programs. Last year, it launched the 3rd phase of a Corporate Social Investment initiative, which offers individuals with an opportunity to share their skills and expertise with community based organisations for three to six months.

The initiative, dubbed a World of Difference, saw ten members of the public join 20 Safaricom employees in enhancing engagement and involvement of the volunteers by promoting community work and volunteerism amongst participants late last year.

In Africa, the Airtel brands – such as 2G, 3G mobile services – are offered in Francophone and Anglophone African markets including Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

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