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US – Africa: Why Washington is driving Africell’s revival

By Quentin Velluet
Posted on Friday, 5 November 2021 19:04, updated on Monday, 8 November 2021 13:29

In order to gain a foothold in Angola, a market of nearly 33 million inhabitants which is now considered a priority, Africell has made the strategic decision to leave Uganda © Vincent Fournier/JA

Telecoms operator Africell, which wants to relaunch itself in the DRC and break into Angola, is receiving strong support from the US. This is just the latest example of Washington and Beijing’s struggle for influence on the continent.

A photo shows two men sitting side by side in the living room of the suite where DRC’s President Félix Tshisekedi stayed during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly at the end of September. The one on the left is Ziad Dalloul, the American-Lebanese founder and boss of the telecommunications group Africell. His hands are clasped and he has a somewhat withdrawn expression. On the right is Peter Pham, former ambassador to the Trump administration. He sports a collared shirt, adorned with an irremovable bow tie, and is engaged in a conversation with the Congolese president.