Zambia Telecom gets deal approved

CEC Executive Chairman Hanson Sindowe

Zambia’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has approved a proposed joint venture between Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and Liquid Telecommunications Holding of Mauritius.

The move has investors and analysts excited about the future prospects of the telecom sector in Zambia.

“We have long been left outside major moves and investment so hopefully this will help jumpstart the industry in the right direction,” says John Yubo, a Zambian IT professional.

The agreement will create a new company CEC Liquid Telecommunications Limited. Brian Lingela, CCPC spokesperson, says the commission gave the final authorization as the deal did not infringe upon competition concerns.

The new venture will see each company with an equal 50% share in the new company and is to be incorporated in Zambia. Both companies are also expected to invest some $30 million in the establishment of the new company.

“The transaction did not raise competition concerns in the fiber optic market,” says Lingela.

“Investigations by the commission found that the proposed joint venture would not raise competition concerns in terms of increasing barriers to entry in the market,” he added.

Lingela says that the CCPC did not believe that CEC would abuse its 40 percent market share of the fibre optic market.

“In their deliberations, the board expressed hope that the transaction would result into some efficiencies particularly because Liquid Telecom has a regional reputation in the provision of fiber optic network from which CEC would benefit,” says Lingela.

By: Staff Writer