Stockholm, November 18, 2013 – A strategic partnership has been established between ALAS Foundation, a movement that encourages the development of early childhood in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the cellular operator Millicom, which currently has operations in 14 countries and provides television, internet and mobile phone services under the TIGO brand for more than 45 million customers in Latin America and Africa.
This important alliance will have a strong social impact addressing early childhood needs for vulnerable communities. The partnership was formalized by Cristina Stenbeck, Executive Chairman of Kinnevik, Millicom’s largest shareholder; Hans-Holger Albrecht, Chief Executive of Millicom; and Juan Antonio Pungiluppi, Executive Director of ALAS Foundation. Their cooperation signifies the importance of supporting investment in early childhood development programs in order to improve a nation’s economy.
Millicom, through its TIGO Foundation, leads social responsibility programs in different fields and plans to allocate significant resources in aligning its objectives with ALAS’ mission. The TIGO and ALAS Foundations will mobilize their resources to support programs and policies that ensure comprehensive quality care to children under the age of 6, who are the most vulnerable age group in the region. The alliance will start with the construction of Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centers in Guatemala, with an investment of up to $ 1.6 million USD. The project will be supported by the local TIGO Foundation, jointly funded by Millicom and Mario Lopez Estrada. The intention is that Millicom will continue to roll out the ALAS ECD centers throughout its Central American operations.
Juan Antonio Pungiluppi, Executive Director of ALAS Foundation stated: “There are over 24 million children under the age of six without access to proper nutrition and to quality early learning programs. As active and engaged members of society we must work to address this fundamental social inequality. Having a leading global telecommunications company such as Millicom join this cause is of great value. We share their vision for closing the digital division through technology and connectivity.”
Shakira, Colombian artist and ALAS activist, has spoken about raising awareness for the need to invest in early childhood in many different international settings. Commenting on the alliance with Millicom, Shakira said: “This alliance between ALAS and Millicom, proves that the promotion of early childhood development is a universal commitment, across all frontiers, without boundaries. It will also help to motivate other leaders from the private sector to join this initiative.”
Cristina Stenbeck, Executive Chairman of Millicom’s largest shareholder Kinnevik stated, “I am proud that the Stenbeck family supports the strategic initiatives of ALAS. Exporting successful proven Colombian models of social entrepreneurship in partnership with local leaders to other regions of the world is a key priority for our family. Every child deserves a right to a happy and healthy childhood full of laughter and play.”
Millicom’s President and CEO, Hans Holger Albrecht stated: “Millicom, through the TIGO Foundation, embraces every opportunity to empower and educate the next generation. We look forward to supporting the development of ECD Centers throughout our markets in Central America and to broadening our alliance with the ALAS Foundation.”
Mario Lopez Estrada, added: “This is one more concrete manifestation of my family and TIGO’s commitment to support the integral development of the Guatemalan youth.”
Millicom is the leading digital lifestyle company in emerging markets and today has operations in a total of 15 countries offering mobile phone, internet, payTV, ecommerce and financial services to over 45 million customers in countries in Africa and Latin America including Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay. In Guatemala, Millicom has a close partnership with Miffin Associates Corp, which is led by Mario Lopez Estrada, in Comunicaciones Celulares, S.A. (Comcel), and was the first mobile operator in the country when it launched commercial operations in 1990.
Millicom International Cellular SA was founded in 1990, is headquartered in Luxembourg, directly employs more than 10,000 people and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC. In 2012, Millicom generated revenue of USD 4.81 billion and EBITDA of USD 2.07 billion.
See in the picture from left to right:
Juan Antonio Pungiluppi (Executive Director, ALAS Foundation); Cristina Stenbeck (Executive Chairman of Kinnevik); and Hans- Holger Albrecht (President and CEO, Millicom).
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