Africa has poor fixed-line infrastructures and, as a result, has seen high growth in mobile usage. To meet the demand, local governments have had to encourage private investment and this has, in turn, attracted the attention of foreign investors. Initially this was from Europe with players such as Vodafone, France Telecom and Millicom. Recently, however, cash rich Middle Eastern companies have started buying substantial chunks of Africa’s telecommunications business. This report gives a brief overview of the operating environment within Africa, and describes the major pan-African players as they stand today, with historical financial and operating data. The history of these companies up to the present is described elsewhere. Companies that operate only within their own countries are described elsewhere in the relevant country reports.