By Foday Moriba Conteh
It is always said that good things come to those who wait and deserve them. Again it is said some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. With the exception of the last, the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Sierra Leone, Aminata Kane Ndiaye, is an embodiment of an exemplary figure, with a strong a personality whose palm kernels were not broken for her by any benevolent spirit but out of sheer hard work and her immense contributions to humankind she is today seating at the highest pinnacle of one of the leading telecommunications companies operating in the country, Orange Sierra Leone.
She received the prestigious 2019 Environmental Care Award given to her by Shout Climate Change Africa on the 23rd November 2019 at the Miatta Conference Centre during a well-attended programme. Under her watch Orange SL has participated extensively in environmental and corporate social investment, with such initiatives being a key pillar in the company’s role as a socio-economic upholder. Some of those include, but are not limited to: Obtaining an Environmental Impact Assessment License (EIA) from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in accordance with the EPA Act 2008.
It is on record that Orange SL remains the first company to secure an EIA license from EPA in 2018 upon the successful completion of an Environmental and Social Impact assessment study with its consultant, CEMMAT. The License is secured annually to ensure that Orange conducts its business responsibly guaranteeing that the impact of the activities of the Company to the environment is mitigated.
As a result-oriented personality, Aminata, is well known as the first female telecommunications CEO in Sierra Leone who has led an illustrious career. Looking at some aspects of her background between 2009 and 2011 she worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in France, designing strategies and operations for telecommunication and technology providers, banks and consumer goods manufacturers in Europe and West Africa. That experience was invaluable, combined with internships at Goldman Sachs in London, BNP Paribas in Geneva, and at the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) in Paris.
Before moving to Sierra Leone as the CEO, she had previously been the B2C Marketing Performance Manager for Orange Sonatel in Senegal, in charge of strategy, sales and margin growth, return on investment, process efficiency, customer experience and loyalty retention. Following this she became the Chief Marketing Officer for Orange Money, a business that has grown exponentially in the past four years.
Aminata joined Orange SL (OSL) in April 2018. Since the inception of her role as CEO of OSL she has exhibited exemplary leadership in the Company with the following achievements:
- Enhanced quality of service on the network and entrenched rural connectivity through the construction of about 132 new sites across the country.
- Maintained leadership in mobile financial services sector through the company’s Orange money service
- The first mover of digital revolution in Sierra Leone and the trusted partner for government in the digital transformation of the Country.
- Transparency in billing and first mover in interesting offers.
- Launched 4G service with 96 4G sites in the country
As CEO of Orange Sierra Leone, the entity also prides itself in giving back to society through its robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda. The Company amongst other factors considers the “Environment” as one of its CSR pillars. Consequently, the Company has undertaken several Environmental and humanitarian projects from 2018 to date as follows:
- Support the education & welfare of 50 Ebola orphans across the country more than 50% are Girl Child with School Materials, Home at SOS, Clothing, Food and health care until they attain 18.
- Support the Freetown City Council in the prevention and flood mitigation project
- Support women entrepreneur in doing digital business
- Distribution & sensitization of Tam Pads – sanitary reusable pads for Girls in Schools with the Power women 232 in order to reduce truancy
- Support the Thinking Pink foundation in creating awareness of breast cancer among women through sport – mini marathon. Also providing financial assistance to cancer survivors for treatment.
- A Complete rehabilitation of the Orthopaedic Theatre & the establishment of a first ever Paediatric theatre in the country’s health sector at Connaught hospital
- Emergency relief (wet food, clothing, Water, detergents, Medications) was provided for the Victims of the mudslide especially women & children. Financial donation to the national disaster relief fund account
- Supporting the Cyber-crime unit at the CID with digital equipment to help fight digital cyber crimes
- Orange Social Venture Prize – to identify and support local entrepreneurs and start-ups.
- An MOU and partnership with the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) to launch the first coding school in Sierra Leone.
Impressively, with Aminata at the helm of affairs, Orange is the First Operator to pledge its support to the Government’s free quality Education Agenda by pledging the sum of 1.5million dollars in material assistance over a period of five years. Through the said intervention Orange that is slated for implementation the following projects will rolled out from 2019 to 2023;
- The provision of 10,000 hygiene packs for girls between the ages of 12-18 years for a period of five years. 2,000 packs already distributed in 2019.
- The running of an inter-secondary school competition for five years in which 500 schools in total will participate, the winners receiving new computer labs.
- Open Classrooms to provide 300 free certifying digital courses for 500 teachers.
- The deliverance of 1,000 solar pack kits to 1,000 off-grid villages
- The Super Coder Academy to train 100 senior secondary school students in computer labs. Working with 200 schools per year, over 2,000 pupils are expected to benefit.