Celtel put off by Zimbabwe’s economic situation

12 Apr 2006

Celtel International has no immediate plans to invest in Zimbabwe, according to Chief Executive Officer Marten Pieters. Problems in the country have rendered it unattractive, Pieters said, although he added that ‘if things improve in the future, we may invest in Zimbabwe. For now, it is not among our top priorities.’ Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis since independence, triggered by President Robert Mugabe’s policies, including a land re-distribution programme. The country is struggling with galloping inflation, compounded by international sanctions imposed by former patron countries.

Based in the Netherlands, but with a portfolio of businesses concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, Celtel International has stakes in operators overseeing more than five million mobile subscribers in 14 different countries. In March 2005 Kuwaiti group MTC-Vodafone agreed to purchase 100% of the company in a USD3.4 billion deal to be completed in instalments over two years.