•As Ogunsanya corporate leaders on managing uncertainty
Telecommunications firm, Airtel Africa, has struck deals with Helios Towers for the sale of its towers in Madagascar and Malawi for a combined $108 million, alongside agreeing on exclusive negotiations over similar assets in two other markets.
The operator noted that the two sealed deals were standalone transactions, which are expected to close in Q4 subject to regulatory approval. As is common in tower agreements, the seller agreed to lease back access to the sites.
The two contracts, according to a statement, cover a combined 1,299 towers but also include an obligation on Airtel Africa to build a further 195 sites across the two countries within three years of completion at a cost to Helios Towers of a further $11 million.
Cash raised will be used by the operator to reduce debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective markets.
In addition to the two contracts, the parties also signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding regarding the potential sale of around 1,000 tower assets in Chad and Gabon, with similar terms to the two other deals.
Should these be agreed upon, the transactions are expected to close before the end of next March.
In November 2020, Bloomberg reported comments from Airtel Africa’s CEO, Raghunath Mandava, noting that it was mulling the sale of 4,500 towers across Chad, Gabon, Madagascar, Malawi and Tanzania to raise money to cut debt.
The move is the latest attempt by the operator to cash in on its assets having announced the sale of a $200 million stake in its mobile money arm last week.
MEANWHILE, the CEO and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has called on business leaders to cultivate qualities such as empathy, integrity, good communication skills and a strong sense of purpose if they must succeed and achieve results during turbulent times.
Ogunsanya spoke at the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Business Roundtable held virtually.
He offered practical tips leaders could adopt in the event of a major crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said leaders must never be in denial whenever there is a crisis, noting that business managers and chief executives must be bold, decisive and should immediately confront any crisis while demonstrating the ability to handle complex situation.
According to him, the ability to demonstrate empathy as a leader is essential at a time where feelings of uncertainty are at an all-time high, stressing the need for leaders to confront reality and not lose the essence of the organization’s purpose during disruptive times.
Speaking on the importance of good communication skills, the CEO stated that every leader should be able to communicate the organization’s purpose and vision, identifying this as an avenue to demonstrate commitment whilst creating an opportunity to develop and grow the relationship with people within the organization.
“Good leadership involves communicating effectively. As an individual occupying a leadership position, most especially during a turbulent period, you need to constantly communicate with your people. It is important to leave the communication channels open. By communicating, you’re not only building trust but also opening an avenue for collective contributions and this will drive engagement and solutions”, he stated.
Discussing the essence of maintaining integrity in a workplace, Ogunsanya said a good leader must uphold strong moral and ethical principles, including honesty, loyalty, dependability and sound judgment.
He went on to advise leaders not to be afraid to show vulnerability as it reflects humanity and compassion.
“Showing vulnerability as a leader is not a sign of weakness, it is simply being human. An honest leader should be able to show vulnerability whilst also demonstrating compassion.
“One of the ways you can show compassion during turbulent times is by offering employees the opportunity to choose to work at home or select days in which they can work physically at the office. Empathy and compassion not only inspire your people but also help in building a collaborative environment”, he said.