More Africa NewsZambia: IDC denies Zamtel’s intention to sell

November 5, 2019by myles

According to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the incumbent telecommunications operator Zamtel is not for sale. The state-owned commercial investment company of the Zambian government, which owns 100% of Zamtel, made the point because of the numerous news of negotiations with India’s Bharti Infratel. Its managing director, Mateyo Kaluba, stressed that no discussions have been initiated with any entity, and that IDC remains engaged in the transformation of Zamtel which has already reached a milestone through products and services innovative.

After many years of financial difficulties, Zamtel is once again seeing growth through its strategic investments to attract more people. In 2017, it initiated a modernization of its telecom infrastructure, and also the extension of its network in rural areas. $ 280 million has been mobilized for this purpose. On February 7, 2019, Zamtel launched its mobile payment service and free Wi-Fi on the buses of the public transport company, following a partnership with Mazhandu Family Bus Services.

The Zambian government is even thinking of going up a notch to offer high-quality telecom services and products to the population. On 16 April 2019, Brian Mushimba, the Minister of Transport and Communications, said the state is seriously considering the introduction of 5G in the country and discussed it with Huawei, the incumbent’s technology partner.

It is since 2012 that the Zambian state is the only one to decide the fate of Zamtel, after having proceeded to a unilateral nationalization of the company which it shared with Libyan investors holding 75% of the shares. The government of Michael Sata had justified this operation by suspicions of corruption during the initial sale.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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