Naming Celtel
October 17th, 2006

A lot of big news is coming out of Africa about the spread of mobile communications and good things that are happening as a result. For one family in Sierra Leone, a reminder of these good mobile times will be carried by a boy named Celtel throughout his life, as his name. The following report from Mobile Africa provides details:

The positive impact of mobile communications in Africa cannot be over-emphasized. Indeed, the impacts of mobile telephony on the African continent, are tremendous. It is thus not much of a surprise that a woman in Sierra Leone, out of joy at the help a timely mobile phone brought her, named her baby: “Celtel”.

Eric Sylvers of International Herald Tribune, disclosed this in a write-up that was published in May 2006 and titled: Connecting developing nations. The first two paragraphs read:

‘A pregnant woman at home alone in her remote village in Sierra Leone unexpectedly went into a difficult labor and, with no access to a doctor or medical facilities, a minor medical emergency could have taken a tragic turn.”

‘But the woman, Emma Sesay, managed to use one of the few cellphones in the village of Port Loko and called her husband, who borrowed a car and rushed home from his job, picking up a midwife along the way. They arrived in time to help Sesay give birth to a healthy boy, whom she promptly christened Celtel, the name of the cellphone company that provides services in her village and many others across 14 African countries, including Burkina Faso, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar.”

Celtel today operates in 15 African countries.

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