Karim Khoja, Roshan CEO, urged the global community not to forget the ongoing connectivity issues in Afghanistan, in light of recent problems in other parts of the world.
Khoja became Roshan’s first CEO in 2003 and is one of six providers in the country, and the company now has more than 7 million subscribers.
In his ‘Mobile is Digital Inclusion’ keynote, Khoja opened up on some of the issues that exist in operating in Afghanistan, a country that continues to be plagued by political instability.
“We have a bomb almost every day in Kabul, and it causes widespread devastation,” he said. “But the good news is our networks stand up, emergency services get through and people can call their families – that’s our version of digital inclusion.”
Khoja also praised some of his main rivals in the country, including Etisalat, MTN and Afghan Wireless for deciding to invest in the country.
And in a subtle hint, he suggested that global internet giants should also help the cause.
“If it wasn’t for Roshan, and the other three operators investing more than $2.4 billion in the country, Facebook, WhatsApp, the UN, and people at MasterCard wouldn’t be able to do anything in Afghanistan,” he said.
“It’s important to understand what mobile operators invest in, and we do need a return on our investment, Facebook and WhatsApp.”