GHANAIAN GOVT IN TALKS WITH IFC OVER USD100M LOAN TO FINANCE GT

Telecoms

The World Bank’s private sector finance arm, the IFC has agreed to re-open discussions with Ghanaian Government for the provision of a 100 million dollar loan to improve operations of Ghana Telecom (GT). Talks had been stalemated due to the impasse between the Ghana Government and the former Malaysian Management of GT. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, signalled this in Accra last Thursday, when he briefed journalists on the outcome of the recently completed Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting held in Brunei and the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Governors Meeting. The Minister said the IFC said at the Meetings that it was fielding a mission to Ghana later this month to develop its lending programme over the next three years. (Is this optimism or a deal in the offing? We shall see.)

Meanwhile Oystein Bjorge, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Telecom, has said that the company has launched a big, rollout campaign that will soon increase its GSM network’s capacity seven-fold by 2004. The company has placed orders for equipment which is expected to arrive in the country before the end of this year. He said an initial investment of USD400 had been made.On revenue the CEO admitted that due to the imperfections in the billing system much revenue is left with customers, saying, "A lot of education will have to go on". He cited managerial problems.

(SOURCES: All Africa and GNA)