Consortium Buy Tanzanian Mobile Operators Tigo and Zantel

A consortium led by pan-African group Axian signed an agreement with Millicom regarding the sale of its shares in Tigo Tanzania and Zantel in Zanzibar.

In its press release, the consortium claims it will deploy significant investments over the next five years in Tanzania and Zanzibar to revolutionize the telecommunications ecosystem by placing customers and their needs at the core of their business while at the same time strengthening the quality and scope of the network’s coverage and associated services.

The consortium has already determined four strategic priorities:

  • Significantly increase the coverage of Tigo Tanzania and Zantel, especially for 4G network;
  • Extend access to affordable mobile services and accelerate digitalization in the territory.
  • Improve financial inclusion, through affordable, innovative mobile financial services offers.
  • Encourage employees’ professional growth and training.

Hassanein Hiridjee, CEO of the Axian Group, commented: “We are convinced that the Axian model will accelerate the digital inclusion and open access to innovative services for the clients while supporting economic growth. We are very excited by this new challenge.”

Millicom had gradually disposed of all its African interests over the past few years. CEO Mauricio Ramos commented: “With [the] announcement that we are divesting our remaining African businesses, we close a chapter in our history and open another solely focused on the Latin American region.”

The deal also includes strategic ownership in the EASSy cable landing station in Dar Es Salaam and a consortium network with over 3,200km of backbone and over 600km of metro fibre.

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

With a population of 58 million and a total of 51 million mobile network subscriptions, mobile penetration reached 88% in December 2020.

There are eight mobile network operators (MNOs) in Tanzania: Vodacom (30.5% market share), Airtel (27%), Tigo (25.4%), Halotel (13.3%), Zantel (2%), TTCL (1.7%), and Smile (0.02%).

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