ANGOLA'S MUNDO STARTEL SIGNS FDI AGREEMENT AND NGN IMPLEMENTATION WITH ZTE

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Mundo Startel, a fixed line operator in Angola in which Telecom Namibia owns a 44% share, signed a foreign direct investment (FDI) agreement with the National Agency for Private Investment (ANIP), an Angolan government agency responsible for the implementation of the national policy on foreign investments.

The agreement was signed in Luanda, Angola, on 8 July, and Mundo Startel was issued with a Private Investment Certificate of Registration (CRIP) which confers on the joint business venture FDI status as provided for under the Angolan legal regime for foreign investment.

Another important agreement was concluded between Mundo Startel and ZTE Corporation from the People's Republic of China. The agreement is a Framework Agreement for the Purchase, Implementation, Operations and Maintenance of a next generation network.

ZTE Corporation is China's largest listed telecommunications equipment manufacturer specialising in providing customised network solutions for telecom carriers worldwide. The company develops and manufactures telecommunications equipment for fixed, mobile, data and optical networks, intelligent networks and next generation networks.

The signing of the two agreements represents a milestone as Namibia formalised its entry into the Angolan market.

"Furthermore, Telecom Namibia's involvement in Angola is in line with the strategic intent that aims at strengthening the company's ambitious strategy for international investments, while maintaining the company's commitment to building shareholder value. This strategic intent hinges on prudence and daring developmental efforts," the parastatal said.

Telecom Namibia and its Angolan partners plan to create 276 jobs, of which 33 will be expatriate workers and the rest will be Angolans. The joint venture will also undertake a comprehensive training programme of the Angolan workforce in terms of a training plan.

Mundo Startel plans to start building the physical infrastructure as from this month. It is envisaged that the first services will be provided from Mundo Startel's network in the first quarter of 2006. There is a technical plan according to which the rollout of the network will take place in many cities, starting from Luanda and Benguela, from where it will move to Huambo, Namibe, Huila, Kwanza Sul and Cabinda.

Angola is satisfied that it will benefit from Telecom Namibia's experience of modernising and expanding the telecommunications infrastructure in Namibia and through the acceleration of efforts to rehabilitate and expand the war-torn telecommunications infrastructure in Angola. "Furthermore, the joint venture project will also benefit from our experiences in establishing a company functioning on the basis of modern management principles, solid business processes and policies and world-class business systems," Telecom said.

Namibia Economist