Government reclaims control of Tanzanian telco

The Tanzanian government will pay off a $6.8 million debt owed by the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL), announcing its financial re-involvement in the company.

“As the government now moves to repossesses a 100% stake in the firm, we are determined to provide financial support to the company”, said Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Prof. Peter Msolla, adding that the Treasury will pay the multi-million outstanding debt, according to newspaper The East African.

As a result, the operator will be able to secure loans from both local and foreign lenders as early as July, he added, saying the delay was caused by the process of acquiring a 35% stake of Zain Tanzania, that was offered back to the government in July, last year.

TTCL’ s acting CEO, Said Said, reported that inadequate financing and outstanding debts were hindering the company’s productivity. The company seeks to apply for a $180 million loan under government guarantee, to stabilize the firm.

TTCL currently provides voice and data communication services to over 300,000 business and residential customers in Tanzania, as well as network services to other licensed telecom operators.

The Tanzanian operator is connected to a fibre optic cable network, with countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe already submitting their plans to be connected to its network.

The fibre optic availability in the country has resulted in a reduction of 80% and 50% respectively for telephone and Internet services.