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MTN partners to bring e-commerce services to African markets

South Africa | 16/12/2013

Johannesburg – MTN Group today announced a partnership agreement that will enable Africa’s leading telecoms operator to extend online retail and other essential digital services on the African continent.

MTN has partnered with Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular to develop internet businesses in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH), an exclusive vehicle to develop e-commerce businesses across the continent. MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet will each become 33.3% shareholders in AIH.

Commenting on the transaction, Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and CEO, said: “We are excited to engage in a strategic partnership with Rocket Internet and Millicom to develop online ventures across the fast growing internet markets of Africa. Rocket Internet’s proven successful track record, coupled with Millicom and MTN’s leading mobile telecommunications position, will allow the partnership to capture the growth potential of the digital media space across our footprint in the region”.

Founded in 2012 as a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, AIH is a leading internet group in Africa, with presence in 13 countries on the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The company has developed several successful e-commerce ventures in the last 18 months, including Jumia, Zando, Kaymu, Jovago, Lamudi, Carmudi, Easytaxi and Hellofood.

Commenting on the agreement today, Millicom President and CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht said:

“We are pleased to welcome MTN as a strategic partner to accelerate the growth of our online alliance in Africa. It is a significant vote of confidence in its future. Between us we have more than 220 million mobile customers in the continent with very limited overlap. MTN is the leader in Nigeria and South Africa, the largest markets for AIH currently, while Millicom contributes through its leading positions in our markets, combined with one of the most innovative product offerings.”

The investment in AIH is in line with MTN’s strategy of bringing the digital world to customers, adapting to their rapidly changing needs and delivering a consistent end-to-end user experience. The partnership brings together Rocket Internet’s expertise in developing successful global internet business models, and Millicom and MTN’s leadership position and unique knowledge of the local telecom markets.

“The strategic partnership between Rocket Internet, Millicom and MTN is unique and will enable AIH to reach more consumers with better services. We feel very strong about AIH’s existing and future ventures in Africa and look forward to working with our new partner,” said Oliver Samwer, Co-Founder of Rocket Internet.

The partnership is expected to create additional synergies for MTN in its core business. The investment is subject to regulatory approval, and the transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014.

“MTN will continue to pursue digital business adjacencies as one of its key strategic priorities to drive growth and value to our customers across Africa”, said Dabengwa.

- Issued by MTN Group Corporate Affairs

About Rocket Internet

Rocket Internet is a leading Internet incubator globally. Its team has been building online companies since 1999 and has created over 100 market leading companies in 50+ countries, dozens of which have been exited successfully. Since 2007 it operates under the name of Rocket Internet. Currently, all companies in which Rocket is a shareholder employ over 25,000 people, covering all relevant developed and emerging markets. Primary focus is on building proven, transaction-based business models in the online and mobile space. Rocket Internet is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and operates 25 international offices in five continents. For more information, visit

About Africa Internet Holding

Africa Internet Holding (AIH) is a leading online company in Africa. AIH introduces and accelerates the online shift in Africa by launching and running successful Internet ventures – for its people and its culture. Currently, AIH operates eight fast growing ventures: JUMIA (, Zando (, Kaymu (, Hellofood (, Lamudi (, Carmudi (, Jovago (, and Easy Taxi ( Currently, AIH ventures employ more than 1,500 people in 13 countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Algeria, and Tunisia). For more information, visit

About Millicom

Millicom is a leading international telecommunications and media company dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. Millicom sets the pace when it comes to providing digital lifestyle services to the world’s emerging markets, giving access to the world, primarily through mobile devices. Operating in 15 countries, Millicom offers innovative and customer-centric products. The Millicom Group employs more than 10,000 people and provides mobile services, access to the internet, content and financial services to close to 49 million customers. Founded in 1990, Millicom International Cellular SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC. In 2012, Millicom generated revenue of USD 4.81 billion and EBITDA of USD 2.07 billion. For more info, visit

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2013, MTN recorded 203.8 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit. Visit us at, and

For more information, please contact


Julian Eccles, +44 77720 409374 or

MTN Group:

Silvanus Khameli, +2783 222 7613 or

MTN Group Office,

Rocket Internet:

Andreas Winiarski on +491622904709 or





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