Canadian SaskTel has been named as the new management contractor to run TTCL for three years “as a way of preparing Tanzanians to make a smooth and meaningful takeover after that”. Quite what form this privatisation would take was not made clear.

Infrastructure Development minister Andrew Chenge told journalists last week that the company got technical score required for qualification. One priority would be investment in human resource development.  Elaborating, the minister said: `Only 32 per cent of the 2,200 TTCL workers have an education level of Form Six onwards. There is a need to train the workers,` he said.

He said the exercise that ended in the choice of the new managers involved twelve companies, adding: `Two of the companies that showed interest in running TTCL were from within Tanzania. They are Telecom Africa Tanzania Consortium and Rajan Industries Limited.`

He noted that SaskTel won what was cut-throat competition and it was the government`s hope that TTCL would from now on perform as efficiently as expected of it `now it has been separated with Celtel Tanzania`. Last week the Telecommunication Workers` Union of Tanzania threatened to sue the government if it allowed the Canadian firm to take over the management of TTCL.  Running the company in a financially effective way may well mean cutting the current workforce.