The Tanzanian government has regained full ownership of state-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corp (TTCL) after reportedly completing its deal to buy back a 35 per cent stake in the operator from Bharti-Airtel.
The deal gives the state full control of the country’s oldest operator and largest fixed line telecommunications company TTCL which currently has only a tiny share of the country’s mobile phone market. in a move intended to revitalise it with new funds.
President John Magufuli appointed Waziri Kindamba as the new acting chief executive after completion of the deal, it added.
Airtel first entered Africa in 2010 after acquiring Zain’s African assets for approximately $10.7 billion, and the deal came with the 35 per cent stake in TTCL, which the government sold in 2001.
The president’s office did not say how much Tanzania had paid for the holding, but government officials said last year the deal was worth around $7 million.
Communications is one of the fastest-growing sectors in east Africa’s second-biggest economy, with seven mobile players fighting for market share, forcing tariffs lower.
Mobile phone use has surged in Tanzania over the past decade, helped by cheaper smartphones, with mobile phone subscribers rising by 25 percent in 2015 to 39.8 million, according to the telecom industry regulator TCRA.