Sudan Telecommunications Co, or Sudatel, plans to buy more African mobile licences and expand its business in troubled southern Sudan, a senior company executive said.
“If the opportunity arises we hope to expand in Africa,” Zainelabdin A Zainelabdin, director of Sudatel’s Executive Office told Zawya Dow Jones.
Telecoms services across Africa are growing at twice the global rate, with the number of mobile subscribers jumping to 136mn by 2005, from 16mn seven years ago, according to the International Telecommunications Union.
Zainelabdin said, Sudatel, which is about 23% owned by the Sudanese government, would also expand further in the country’s southern regions of Wau, Malakal and Juba.
Oil rich southern Sudan suffered greatly during the 21-year civil war between the Southern People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM, and the government.
In 2005, a peace agreement was signed and a combined government was set up, which led many displaced people to return to the south strengthening its economy and raising demand for goods and services.
“Inside Sudan there is a great opportunity for work, in the coming year our focus will be in the Sudan,” he said in an interview last week.
Sudan’s economy is booming, with growth expected to rise by more than 13% this year, spurred by record oil earnings, which account for 90% of the country’s export revenue, according to Economist Intelligence Unit data. Zainelabdin said, the company has added 2mn subscribers from Southern Sudan in one year to its total user base.
Sudatel is expanding its business in Sudan at a time when the country is coming under increasing pressure over the conflict in Darfur, where some 2.5mn people are estimated to have been displaced since 2003.
Source: Gulf Times