Zain Iraq awarded Telecom Operator of the Year accolade

Zain Iraq awarded Telecom Operator of the Year accolade

Zain Iraq awarded Telecom Operator of the Year accolade at prestigious 2013 Arabian Business Achievement Awards.

Charchafchi: "The Operator of the Year" accolade is awarded to Our operator's outstanding economic and social investment in Iraq over the past 10 years".

Arabian Business, a highly prestigious online and print business publication across the Middle East, has awarded the Telecom Operator of the Year accolade to Zain Iraq in a ceremony held in Dubai The annual Achievement Awards ceremony has been the premier awards event in the regional business calendar. In addition to the attendance of Zain Iraq Chairman Mr. Muhammed Al Charchafchi and CFOO Mr. Wael Ghanayem, the black-tie gala ceremony held in the Mariot Hotel in Dubai was also populated by a good number of economic and financial figures and other celebrities.

On announcing the accolade, the editorial team of Arabian Business noted, "the Award confirms the immense contributions Zain Iraq has made to the telecom sector and the country in its 10 years of operation, during which time it has become Iraq's leading mobile operator serving over 14.5 million customers reflecting a 48% market share. Zain is most recognizable brand in the country and the operator's exceptional network covers 97% of the population, having invested over US$4.5 billion in Iraq since commencing its operations in 2003. Zain Iraq is an important part of Zain Group contributing to 31% of the Group's customer base and 40% of its revenues."

Furthermore, Arabian Business noted, "Zain Iraq's educational, health and cultural programs are profuse, all indicative of a company acting with sound sustainable and corporate socially responsible values."

Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO commented on the award: "We have faced many challenging operating conditions in Iraq over the years, but never has our resolve to contribute to the country's telecom infrastructure and overall revitalization been dampened."

Gegenheimer continued: "Zain Iraq is in the final stages of preparing for a stock market listing, which will result in more Iraqis gaining ownership of a mobile operator serving their own country. We have always considered our journey in Iraq as one with the people and for the people, and we appreciate our efforts being recognized at such an important time in the mobile operator's development."

On his part, Wael Ghanayem, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Zain Iraq, said: "As a company, we already gain a great deal of satisfaction for the way in which our mobile telephony services have a positive impact on the daily lives of the Iraqi people. This high-level endorsement of our efforts is an added bonus, and we appreciate Arabian Business for recognizing our undertakings on such a prestigious platform."

The telecom sector in Iraq in a major contributor to the country's GDP, and is the country's second highest source of tax revenue, with Zain employing over 3,000 employees directly, and the number of Iraqis drawing an income from Zain Iraq's operations estimated at ten times that number. Zain's modern network infrastructure that has recently expanded to the northern region is ready to offer 3G services nationwide as soon as the Iraq authorities provide the necessary spectrum.

Away from the positive impact, Zain Iraq's commercial activities have had on the country, the operator is one of the leading corporate social responsibility contributors in In Iraq, with projects ranging from health centers and schooling to cultural and personal safety campaigns. In the education sector, for example, Zain Iraq renovated more than 115 primary schools in 2012 and developed more than 61 illiteracy centers across the country in collaboration with relevant international organizations.