Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Business of Tech

Airtel Africa adds 3M subs on back of Nigerian recovery

Article Image
A strong recovery in Nigeria helped Airtel Africa grow its customer base on the continent by 5.8% to 125.8 million in the third quarter of its financial year, ending December 31, 2021.

The customer base growth had been affected by the Nigerian government's National Identity Number (NIN) enrolment program but returned to growth in the third quarter.

Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya said that Nigeria returned to strong customer growth after a period affected by the implementation of new 'know your customer' requirements, posting 1.9 million net additions in the third quarter, taking total group customer additions to 3.1 million.

The Nigerian SIM registration process started back in December 2020. The Nigerian government wants NINs linked to customer SIM cards as a way to stop the activities of fraudsters, cybercriminals and terrorists using unregistered SIMs.

"I am particularly pleased with developments in Nigeria, where in November we received approval in principle for both a payment service bank (mobile money) license and a super-agent license. We are now working closely with the Central Bank to meet all its conditions to receive the final operating licenses and commence operations," Ogunsanya said.

This will help Airtel's strategy to expand its digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that currently do not have access to traditional financial services.

Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya. (Source: Airtel Africa)
Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya.
(Source: Airtel Africa)

Airtel said that African customer growth was boosted by an 11.1% rise in data customers, now at 45.1 million, while mobile money customer grew by 19.6% to 25.7 million.

Revenue resurgence

The telco, which operates in 14 African markets, also reported strong financials for the first nine months of the year with reported revenue up by 21.7% to $3.5 billion; while constant currency underlying revenue was up 24.8%.

Profit after tax almost doubled year-on-year to $514 million as higher profit before tax more than offset associated tax charges.

Revenue growth was recorded across all regions and on a constant currency basis revenue grew in Nigeria by 29%, in East Africa by 24.4% and in Francophone Africa by 19.%.

The same could be said of all key services, with revenue in voice up 16.1%, and in data and mobile money both up 37.2% for the nine months.

Last week the group also announced that Airtel Africa would be joining the FTSE 100, just two-and-a-half years after it listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Related posts:

*Top image source: jbdodane on Flickr CC 2.0

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


SA startup Sendoff is digitizing funerals

South African startup Sendoff is a full-service funeral app that is digitizing the way funerals are organized.


SA's Homemation wants smart homes to be seamless

Through its Control4 operating system, South Africa's Homemation highlights that operating smart homes should be a seamless experience.

More Innovation hub

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.


Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up