Tanzania - Government takes total control of Tanzania telco after Airtel exit

Telecoms

An agreement signed between Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited TTCL and Bharti Airtel has given the state full ownership of the telco ending 15 years of the public private partnership.

Previously Bharti Airtel owned 35 per cent of TTCL while the government’s stake was 65 per cent. The MoU was signed in Dar es Salaam by the Treasury Registrar (TR), Mr Lawrence Mafuru, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bharti Airtel Africa, Mr Christian De Faria.

The move now gives the state full ownership of TTCL, owning 100 per cent shares. Speaking during the signing ceremony, TTCL's Board Chairman, Prof. Tolly Mbwette, said the repossession of the shares now allows the company to implement its business plan that seeks smoother transformation.

The repossession of the shares also gives the government better chance to implement its ambition of strengthening the state's largest and oldest Telecommunication company. The Works, Transport and Communications minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, had earlier announced that the partnership between the two companies would end in January.

But TTCL said the process was delayed by key procedures including taxation requirements by the revenue body. The government announced five years ago that it had begun to buy back the shares (35 per cent) that had been sold to the consortium of MSI of the Netherlands and Detecon of Germany for 62m US dollars in February 2001.

TTCL is planning to list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange as part of its five-year plan to raise 330m US dollars to turn the firm into a competitive data and mobile phone company. The state-owned firm also plans to adopt the Global System for Mobile (GSM) that will enable it to engage in the mobile telephony and mobile money business. Ownership of the 35 per cent have been frequently changing for different partners. So far, four partners owned the shares, these include MSI; Celtel International of Netherlands, Zain International BV of Kuwait and Bharti Airtel of India.
Source: African Business Communities 27 June 2016