Airtel Africa nominates key figures to head Francophone operations

Airtel Africa has nominated Antoine Pamboro and Louis Luballa as the new managing directors of its operations in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) respectively.

The two are expected to take assume their leadership positions in the two African countries within this month.

Tiemoko Coulibaly, Bharti Airtel (Francophone Africa) CEO, said the two appointments show the company’s ability to appreciate and tap into the deep reservoir of management skills of the blue chip executive pool in Africa.

Currently, Gabon is one of Africa’s leaders in teledensity, with an estimated 100 percent penetration, while DRC, Africa’s second largest country by area, has some 25 percent penetration.

“Luballa and Pambaro have the requisite experience and leadership skills to successfully steer our top francophone operations,” Coulibaly said, adding that both executives will bring different perspectives to two of Africa’s most dynamic telecommunications markets.

Airtel in a statement said the new managing directors “will add significant value to Airtel’s customers in each country, Mr. Luballa will lead an aggressive agenda in DRC to ramp up the organization’s network capabilities and grow availability across the vast country whilst Pambaro will build a strong data proposition for Airtel’s customers in Gabon.”

A career Engineer, Pambaro holds a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Civil Engineering from the Superior National School of Telecommunications, France, and a Bachelor’s degree in Maths and Physics from the University of Reims, France. Having headed Airtel’s operations in DRC, his 24 years of telecommunications experience is expected to “successfully steer our top francophone operations.”

Pambaro joined the Airtel in 2000 from MTN having transcended through various senior leadership roles. He has also worked as Celtel’s managing director for Congo Brazzaville and for Camtel Mobile in Cameroon.

According to Airtel, Pambaro’s tenure at Airtel DRC saw the increase in customer base to nearly 7 million over 5 years.

Prior to his appointment at DRC’s managing director, Luballa, who brings over 25 years of experience from the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and telecommunications sectors, led Airtel operations in Gabon. He has also worked for several multinationals including Electric Liberty – South Africa, Multi-Choice Africa, World Space – Southern Africa, Quantum International, Unilever Cote d’Ivoire, Lever Brothers South Africa and Unilever DRC.

Luballa’s term at Airtel Gabon saw the company report growth in revenue market share, as he built a stable, sustainable business model.

Formerly, Luballa served as managing director for Niger between July 2008 and June 2010, having served in the role of a marketing director in Zambia from August 2006 to July 2008.

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