KABUL, Afghanistan, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire — Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Karim Khoja has received, on behalf of Roshan, the prestigious “Global Leadership Award” at the fifth annual TMT Finance Middle East & North Africa Awards, held in Dubai on April 23.
The award recognizes the innovative spirit that has fuelled Roshan’s growth in becoming not only Afghanistan’s largest telecommunications operator, but it also celebrates Roshan’s contribution to the country’s social and economic development – a vital component of the company’s continued growth and success.
“I have always believed that successful leadership is achieved through effective teamwork, and so this award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of all Roshan’s employees and partners,” Khoja said. “The award also reflects the social enterprise and the fostering of human potential that is at the heart of Roshan’s pioneering business model, and is derived from the philosophy of our major investor, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. In Afghanistan, we are breaking down traditional distinctions between profit and non-profit, and between social contribution and commercial success. It is this unique, social enterprise-based model that has given Roshan such a huge advantage over our competitors,” Khoja added.
When Roshan commenced operations in 2003, despite only 80,000 Afghans having access to a mobile phone, the company aimed to harness the power of mobile technology to catalyze the reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan. Today, Roshan is the country’s largest investor, private company and taxpayer, having invested over $550 million to bring communication services and long-term, social development programs to Afghanistan. The company now serves approximately six million customers, connecting Afghans to one another and the world.
Despite this success, Roshan continues to invest in Afghanistan’s next generation, and has recently launched 3G Jahaan (meaning “the world”), further advancing the company’s provision of innovative, market-leading voice and data services. Roshan’s investment in 3G technology is also part of the company’s continued mission to leverage telecommunications to bridge critical infrastructure gaps, in fields such as health and financial inclusion:
- In the last year alone, Roshan has expanded its Telemedicine Project to connect the Faizabad hospital with the Bamyan Hospital in Central Afghanistan, the French Medical Institute for children in Kabul and the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, thereby increasing delivery of medical care to the most remote regions of Afghanistan and enabling remote diagnosis and medical personnel training that ultimately saves lives.
- Prior to the launch of Roshan’s mobile-banking service, M-Paisa, 97 percent of Afghanistan remained unbanked, due to a combination of lack of access to a physical banking location and distrust in Afghanistan’s banking sector, caused by widespread corruption. By launching M-Paisa in 2011, Roshan created a product that provided Afghans with an alternative that is not only accessible in even the most rural, isolated regions, but also offers service that is fast and secure. In 2013, more than one million customers now use M-Paisa, including the Afghan National Police, who now receive their salaries via mobile phone.
“Since 2003, we have strived to build a truly world-class company that both employs and develops local staff, while also spurring the economic development and rebuilding of Afghanistan, and improving the well-being of the country’s communities,” Khoja said. “We believe in the power of telecommunications to bring about measurable change, and it is an honor to be recognized by the international community for our achievements,” he added.
To learn more about the TMT Finance Awards visit www.tmtfinance.com/awards.
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider with over six million active subscribers and a network that covers over 230 cities and towns in all of the country’s 34 provinces.
Roshan is a true Afghanistan success story, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and actively contributing to the country’s long-term development. Since its inception nine years ago, Roshan has invested over $550 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately five percent of the Afghan government’s overall domestic revenue. Roshan directly employs more than 1,200 people, 20 percent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 30,000 people.
Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to the country and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.
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