A court order is requesting MTN and Orange to pay 44billion FCFA to the company for attempting to sabotage its installation in Cameroon
Dr. Caroline Hoth, president and CEO of Remember Africa International, US 501C3 organisation based in New York has disclosed that the organisation’s telecommunication service provider, RA-NECOM has a possibility of ending the current internet blackout in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
She was speaking at a press conference in Yaounde on February 23- a press conference in which she presented her version of a tussle Ra-NECOM, MTN and Orange have been involved in ever since the telecommunication company (RA-NECOM) obtained license to operate a 4G communication network in Cameroon in 2011.
Though the news confab was focused on the celebration of this year’s edition of the African American History Month, a series of questions rather centred on the organisation’s license to operate its telecommunication services in Cameroon. The company’s signal for calls and internet services only end in the centre region. As a social welfare organisation, the company currently provides internet and call services to Yaounde city dwellers at 7 thousand FCFA per month.
Quizzed about the possibility to remedy the internet shutdown in the North West and South West regions, Dr Hoth said if there is anybody or a group of persons ready to invest in receivers and transmitters among other things, RA-NECOM would extend its services the Anglophone regions. She pointed out that inasmuch as it would be a business partnership, the company, would still have to respect the principles of the umbrella organisation, Remember Africa, which provides goods and services at a subsidised cost to communities in need.
“MTN and Orange blocked me from providing Cameroonians with the best modern technology at a very cheap price. Today they are deceiving citizens that they provide 4G services in Cameroon. 4G is a technology and requires robust equipment which they do not have. It is not a sim card;” she noted, adding that Senator Achidi Achu was interested in extending the services to the North West region, before her company was sabotaged.
Joe Douxon, the Africa Director of the organisation pointed out that RA-NECOM satellite has the capacity to cover the entire central African sub-region. “It is a wireless system that only requires receiver and transmitter antennae to extend the signals from Yaounde.
44Billion FCFA compensation by MTN, Orange
Dr Hoth who had just flown in from New York said MTN and Orange have been ordered to pay a compensation of 44Billion FCFA to RA-NECOM. She revealed that the companies were behind a smear campaign in 2011 to discredit her initiative- a campaign which she says affected other activities of the organisation.
“Our license was signed in December 2010 by the minister of post and telecommunication and we had a copy handed to us in 2011. We signed a partnership agreement with CAMTEL but when the sabotage began, many things went wrong. It would appear government even wanted to withdraw our license but found no way. We had carried out all tests and proven our satellite, smartphones and equipment were authentic.”
The multi-award winning humanitarian told press that after the court decision, the two rival telecom companies sought the intervention of the Telecommunications Regulatory Board. “They wanted TRB to mediate so that they can pay us a lesser amount of money but they were told the board cannot meddle in court issues. So we are following up to ensure that the money is paid,” she pointed out.
Remember Africa will be celebrating the African American History Month, tomorrow February 24. Highlights of the event will include sharing of gifts and sharing of feedback regarding payment of dividends to its members. It was announce at the press conference that the US Congress has allocated 3.5billion US dollars to be distributed through Prosperity Visa credit cards.