Angola Telecom privatisation plans cancelled

Angola Telecom privatisation plans cancelled

In a rather surprising move, an Angolan government minister has said that plans to privatise the troubled state-owned operator Angola Telecom have been cancelled and the government is now focusing on restructuring the company.

TechAfrica News, citing local press reports, says that the Minister of Information and Social Communication Technologies, Manuel Homem, has confirmed that Angola Telecom will not be privatized as originally planned.

He said that Angola Telecom is now not part of the country’s privatization programme and should be treated as a strategic resource due to its significant role in the country’s communication infrastructure.

However, he also admitted to the issues that may have encouraged privatisation moves in the first place, notably financial challenges caused by poor management, misguided investments and a belief that public institutions did not need to pay for services consumed, as they were perceived as belonging to the state.

Nevertheless, he suggested that Angola Telecom has the potential to meet service expectations. Thus, a strategic restructuring plan has been approved which will target unnecessary services and harmful practices. It will also seek strategic partnerships to leverage Angola Telecom’s infrastructure and improve service quality for customers.

All of which seem admirable aims, except that, back in June 2021, when we reported plans to privatise some of Angola Telecom, improving performance seems to have been part of the rationale for privatisation.

At the time plans for an international tender to manage, operate and expand Angola Telecom’s national and metropolitan transport backbone network were mooted, supposedly in order to take advantage of the know-how of the private sector, not least, as the official announcement suggested, "the need to align the Executive's strategy to make the public business sector more dynamic and profitable”.

The, now abandoned, privatisation process began in 2019, when we reported the appointment of a new board for the loss-making utility as part of a process of privatisation of about 50 companies.

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.