26 October 2017; Johannesburg, South Africa: IHS Holding Limited (“IHS” or the Company) Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO, Issam (“Sam”) Darwish, has won the 2017 TowerXchange Lifetime Achievement Award at the journal’s African and Middle Eastern tower industry awards ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The prestigious industry award was presented to Sam in recognition for the transformational impact that he and IHS have had on the region’s tower industry. Through Sam’s vision and leadership, IHS has become the largest independent tower operator in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by tower count and the third largest independent multinational tower company globally. This growth has been achieved through Sam and IHS’s firm belief that mobile communication is a critical enabler of emerging economies’ economic development. This philosophy has been a driving force behind the Company’s commitment to providing the most reliable and sustainable towers to its customers who supply mobile networks to over 250 million-plus end-users which include local entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses, and multinationals across the region.
Over the past few years, under Sam’s leadership, IHS has begun rolling out new cutting edge hybrid power systems which have resulted in more efficient and reliable service for mobile phone users. The impact is three-fold: the hybrid systems increase network uptime, decrease diesel dependency and reduce CO2 emissions.
IHS also continues to pursue various training opportunities for employees – through the IHS Academy, an online internal training portal comprised of numerous courses utilizing a variety of learning mediums ranging from classroom-based or e-learning through to the latest gamification techniques focused on developing the skills necessary to succeed in the telecoms sector – and for vendors, which seek to upskill local suppliers to support the further development of the emerging markets telecoms sector. In addition, IHS maintains an award-winning Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) program, which is focused on enabling local community growth. The CSR strategy is needs-based, tailored to each country’s operations and focuses on four pillars including business ethics, people, environment and education. These various community building initiatives are a testament to Sam’s commitment to constant innovation and new skill development which will ultimately translate into a stronger local business ecosystem and enhanced quality of service for our customers.
Kieron Osmotherly, Founder and CEO of TowerXchange, said:
This year’s TowerXchange Lifetime Achievement Award goes to a man who has been active in the African towers sector long before there was a tower industry. The drive and passion of Issam Darwish has seen IHS rise from a pioneering telecom builder and service provider, to Africa’s largest towerco with over 23,300 towers in five countries.
Sam Darwish, Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO of IHS, said:
I am sincerely honored and humbled to be the winner of the Towerexchange Lifetime Achievement Award and to accept this award on behalf of all employees at IHS, without whom this recognition would not be possible.
We have grown from operating a couple of hundred tower sites a few years ago, to over 23,300 towers today and we are always on the lookout for new opportunities worldwide. Together we have built a unique business that delivers innovative solutions to empower millions with the use of mobile communications and we are focused on leveraging this success and our unique expertise to empower “the next billion” mobile users, many of whom are in emerging markets.
The annual TowerXchange Industry Awards focuses on notable industry achievements in the African and Middle Eastern region and brings together the most influential executives and businesses within the telecoms infrastructure sector.
About IHS Holding Limited
IHS Towers is the largest independent tower operator in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by tower count and the third largest independent multinational tower company globally, with over 23,300 towers. Founded in 2001, IHS Towers provides services across the full tower value chain – colocation on owned towers, deployment and managed services. IHS continues to grow and develop its business with leading market positions in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. IHS also led in-market consolidation in Africa through its acquisition of Helios Towers Nigeria in 2016, and announced an agreement in October 2017 to acquire Zain’s towers in Kuwait, subject to certain regulatory and statutory approvals.