Plans to privatise Angola Telecom came a little closer recently with the appointment of a new board for the loss-making utility.
A decree released earlier this week has named a five-person leadership for the telecommunications company. This is part of a process of privatisation of about 50 companies that the Angolan government intends to carry out that will, according to reports earlier this year, be conducted with “transparency and rigour”, as the Institute of Management of Assets and State Participations (IGAPE) put it.
Angola Telecom is the country’s third licensed telecommunications provider. Its losses stand at over $90 million. There are many reasons for this, not least a reported lack of reliable accounting records and non-payment of taxes and contributions to the State. The upshot is that it will be restructured and privatised. It will not be alone. The loss-making national air carrier TAAG Angola Airlines E.P. and a diverse collection of groups in mobile communications, broadband, cable and postal services, among other sectors, are also on the privatisation list.
An interesting addendum to the sell-off is Angola Telecom’s plan to invest in the roll-out of 4G LTE technology in five provinces before the sale tender later this year. It is not clear how, or whether, that will still go ahead.