By Alvin Lansana Kargbo
In a decisive move towards the digital transformation of Sierra Leone, Orange Money Sierra Leone, has officially unveiled a strategic partnership with Conex on Friday, August 18, 2023. This landmark collaboration, announced at the Conex Fuel Station in Brookfields, Freetown, marks a pivotal step in the country’s journey to embrace a cashless society.
With its foundation built upon accessibility and universality, Orange Money has revolutionized financial transactions for millions who lack access to traditional banking. Utilizing mobile technology, the service empowers users to conduct swift and efficient financial dealings.
Chief Executive Officer of Orange Money, David Mansaray, affirmed the overarching goal of their initiative: to propel Sierra Leone towards a future defined by digital financial systems. “Our aspiration is for citizens to resort to cash usage only in exceptional circumstances,” he expressed optimism. Mansaray recounted a personal incident in which he found himself low on fuel and possessing funds exclusively within his Orange Money Wallet. Lamentably, Orange Money agents were not in proximity, forcing him to pay an additional fee to secure fuel. With this collaboration, such inconveniences will be alleviated.
Mansaray highlighted the confluence of benefits offered by the partnership, particularly the extension of fuel station operating hours. In Sierra Leone, most fuel stations curtail their operations between 8 to 9 pm, largely due to security concerns associated with cash handling. By leveraging the partnership, individuals will be empowered to utilize Orange Money for fuel purchases beyond these hours, effectively bypassing cash-related restrictions.
Avrajit Kar, the Managing Director of Conex, echoed Mansaray’s sentiments, emphasizing the partnership’s role in expediting Sierra Leone’s digital evolution. Through the synergy of Orange Money and Conex, customers can conveniently deposit funds onto their phones, streamlining payments for goods and services across any of the 37 Conex Outlets scattered throughout the nation. Kar expressed enthusiasm for his involvement in the transformative project, underscoring its transparency and ease of use.
Bernard Sesay, the Marketing and Sales Manager of Conex, lauded the progressive transition from cash to digital payments. He alluded to the Government’s national switch initiative, designed to promote digital financial interactions. Sesay affirmed that the collaboration between Orange Money-Conex aligns with this national agenda, steering the country towards comprehensive digitalization.
Abibatu Baxter, an Orange Money representative, elucidated the operational mechanics of the integrated service during the launch event. The presentation catered to both smartphone and non-smartphone users, showcasing the accessibility and inclusivity of the technology.
The launch concluded with an announcement from both CEOs: customers who purchase fuel through Orange Money at any Conex fuel station across the nation from that day until the end of August will stand a chance to win a complimentary 100-liter pump of fuel. This incentivizing gesture augments the celebration of this transformative partnership, setting the stage for Sierra Leone’s embrace of a digital tomorrow.