The Orange logo hangs inside a store in France. Picture: BLOOMBERG
The Orange logo hangs inside a store in France. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Abidjan — Orange SA is seeking to build partnerships in Africa rather than make major acquisitions or entering new markets, as the French phone carrier focuses on its existing businesses in 21 countries on the continent.

Mobile-phone operators in Africa had to increasingly share their investment in infrastructure to reduce costs, Bruno Mettling, deputy CEO in charge of operations for Africa and the Middle East, said in Abidjan, the commercial capital of the Ivory Coast, on Tuesday.

Orange, which invested about €1bn in Africa each year, would also concentrate on recent acquisitions, such as those in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Liberia, he said, while those three businesses represented 8% of Orange’s revenue, they accounted for about a third of its global growth.

"Of course there are some opportunities of consolidation, but it’s not Orange’s priority," Mettling said.

Orange was starting new services in the countries where it operated, including the distribution of solar kits, he said.

The company plans to distribute as many as 20,000 solar kits in four African countries in partnership with UK-based renewable-energy firm BBOXX.

Orange targets selling between 400,000 and 500,000 solar kits in the next five years. It also has 30-million customers using its mobile-banking service, 12-million of whom are active.