Leading orange to a brighter future

Kabelo Adamson

There’s no problem with signal this week as Kabelo Adamson calls up Orange Botswana’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Néné Maïga.

The vastly experienced Maïga, who is originally from Mali, assumed the all important post in September and has massive plans for the mobile giants.

In this latest edition of Meet the Boss, Maïga outlines her priorities as she look to create a lasting legacy at Orange Botswana.

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Congratulations on your appointment as Orange Botswana CEO.

Thank you so much, I am very happy to have been appointed by our board.

Batswana have been very welcoming and warm and I appreciate that.

Take us through your career before joining Orange Botswana?

After my studies, I started working in France as a consultant but soon decided to work in Africa.

I believe Africa is truly the continent of the future where technology can greatly improve people’s lives.

I have loved working in finance in France and Cameroon, in distribution in Senegal, I was the CEO of Orange Money in Mali, with a customer base of over 5 million.

I particularly loved that experience as we brought positive and impactful changes to so many people.

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My tenure as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa from 2018 to 2021 allowed me to work on projects for the group’s entire African footprint, contributing to a more efficient and inclusive company.

I am very proud to be part of a company that contributes to making digital accessible to everyone and that has the fastest network in Botswana.

What are your immediate priorities in terms of taking the business to new levels?

My first and most important priority would have to be the Orange Botswana customer.

I was very happy to see how customer centric our teams are.

Together, we will provide our customers with the best services, the fastest Internet speed and the latest technology available.

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Technology is the industrial revolution that we cannot miss, and this is why we will keep on supporting the local tech ecosystem.

A few weeks ago we awarded funding and mentoring to our three Batswana Orange Social Venture Prize winners and we want to do even more.

And last but not least, ensuring that our staff enjoys being part of the organisation.

There is no end to the things we can achieve if everyone knows how valued they are.

Have you set any timelines to achieve all this?

In a fast-changing environment like the telco industry, we are constantly evolving as the goalposts keep shifting.

The needs of our customers keep growing, technology is improving at an unprecedented rate and that is why I believe in continuous improvement.

That way our work is never done, we are always looking for ways to make our offers better and are expanding our reach to the new territory at every opportunity.

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As you mentioned, you previously served as Chief Staff to the CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, Botswana included. What did this entail?

It was quite a unique opportunity to work with the most senior people in the Orange group.

I am very happy to have had this experience as it afforded me a more comprehensive view of global business and trends.

I was honored to be able to contribute in ways that I held very close to my heart, setting up multiple initiatives that pushed for more recognition of local talent as well as advocating for gender parity.

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I understand you were also appointed to the Orange Botswana Board last December – did this have an impact on your appointment to your current position?

Orange group has a standard recruitment process, that is based on the capability and qualifications of all candidates at an international level.

The appointments are purely based on merit.

What would you describe as the highlight of your career so far?

I am a firm believer that the best moments of my career are yet to come.

I am extremely grateful that in all my positions, I was lucky enough to have incredible teams and colleagues that offered support, inspiration and motivation to always aim higher.

Seeing a happy customer is something that gives so much energy and meaning to our daily work too.

I am looking forward to many great moments as the new CEO of Orange Botswana.

And the lowest?

Every low moment is an opportunity to develop our character.

How we act in those points of adversity is how we are equipped with the skills to become better leaders in the future.

In essence, every moment, whether good or bad, has led me to where I am right now; there is no such thing as failure, just an opportunity for improvement and success.

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What legacy do you hope to create at Orange?

It is such a great honour to be in this position, I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be able to make a change and feature in this story, bringing Batswana closer to what matters most to them.

The course is quite clear and I am very appreciative of the considerable work done by the previous CEO, Dr. Patrick Benon and our teams.

In the future, my greatest wish is that Orange Botswana becomes the telecom operator that is closest to the hearts of Batswana.

We will provide the best value for their money and the best products and services to as many people as possible making Orange Botswana one of the best places to work.

On that note, how long is your contract?

I am hoping to spend as much time as I can in Botswana.

It is a lovely country and I can’t wait to be immersed in the lifestyle and culture of the people of Botswana.

So what can Orange customers expect soon from the organisation?

It’s a busy time: 2021 Summer Offers have launched, and the Varsity Tour is kicking off, Batswana can look forward to great offers on all products and services.

We will continue to provide the fastest and most affordable internet connectivity.

Batswana can also expect to see more of Orange in the rural villages bridging the digital divide through our Digital Schools’ as well as our Women’s Digital Centres.

We have many exciting things coming up, stay tuned!

And finally, what keeps you busy away from the office?

I like to bury my head in a good book every chance I get some time off.

I also enjoy listening to music as well as spending time with friends and family.

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