Weekly digest for 23 April 2021


This week’s main story is from Ghana. Negotiations have been concluded and 100% of AirtelTigo will be sold to the Ghanian government. The government of Ghana acquired all customers, assets and agreed liabilities for USD1. The Government would also operate AirtelTigo, once the deal goes through. This also means that Millicom has exited the African market, after having sold its Ghana and Tanzanian subsidiaries. The Ghanian market is dominated by MTN (Scancom) with over 19 million data subscribers compared to 3.9 million for AirtelTigo and 3.05 million for Vodafone Ghana. The history of government controlled mobile operators in Africa is very poor and the temptation is always to tilt the playing field in favour the government operator.

  • Rwanda: MTN Rwanda is going to list on the Rwanda stock exchange and the official listing will take place on the 4th of May 2021.
  • Tanzania: Millicom has sold its Tanzanian subsidiary to Axian. Along with the sale of its share of AirtelTigo in Ghana, this completes Millicom’s exit from the African market.
  • Malawi: MACRA has negotiated with the MNOs to lower the price of data services. 1GB of data will be lowered by 30% and the price of packages up to 4GB will be lowered by between 10% and 31%. The price reductions are effective on the 22nd of April 2021.
  • South Africa: Cell C is transitioning to a “digital lifestyle company” and will not be investing in infrastructure like its bigger rivals, MTN and Vodacom. In total, Cell C has lost R33 billion (around USD2.3 billion).