MTN pays $100m for Uganda licence renewal

MTN pays $100m for Uganda licence renewal

After two years, MTN Group has finally reached an agreement for a long-term renewal of its operating licences in Uganda.

The pan-African group’s Ugandan licence expired in October 2018, and since then it has operated in the market using a temporary licence that it had to renew every six months. MTN noted that the licence was “extended to accomodate conclusion of renewal negotiations which have been ongoing for close to two years”.

MTN Uganda has now reached an agreement with the Uganda Communications Commission to pay $100 million for a 12-year licence in Uganda valid from 1st July. In a statement, the operator said that it “will conclude the signature of the Licence Agreement within the coming days.”

The lengthy renewal negotiations were derailed early when Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni rejected MTN Group’s initial offer for the permits, which was under $50 million. According to local news outlet the Ugandan Observer, he argued that that the South Africa-headquartered group could only deliver services in Uganda in exchange for a fair fee.

MTN Uganda confirmed that its parent firm had now “fulfilled all conditions precedent to the licence, including the payment of a total sum of $100 million as licence renewal fee.” The operator is Uganda’s largest as of Q1 2020.

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