The privatisation of Botswana’s BTC not making speedy progress

Telecoms

The government of Botswana has reaffirmed its goal of privatising incumbent telecoms operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), local newspaper The Sunday Standard reports.

Presidential Affairs Minister Lesego Motsumi told parliament that ‘the cabinet has now taken a decision on the privatisation structure of BTC and the information will soon be communicated with all stakeholders.’ Motsumi added that the process was delayed because the government had to carry out lengthy consultation activities with all of the telco’s stakeholders in a bid to minimise risks and maximise benefits.

The privatisation of BTC was first mooted in June 2006, with initial plans envisaging the sale of between 40% and 49% of the telco to a strategic investor and a 5% share to BTC employees. The remaining shares would be retained by the government for a future stock market listing. The first stage of the privatisation began in January 2007, with a tender put out for 'advisory services'. In February 2008 the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) signed a contract with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to act as transactional advisor in the privatisation. The IFC completed due diligence in November 2008 and in 2009 the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (Transition) Bill was enacted in parliament.