Government to remove foreign ownership ceiling

7 Oct 2008

The Kenyan government is studying new legislation which will scrap the limit on foreign ownership of local telcos. Under current law, overseas investors cannot hold more than 70% of Kenyan telcos, but the government thinks this is hindering foreign direct investment. ‘This rule is messing us up in terms of investments. There are large companies which want to invest in this country without partnering with other individuals,’ Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary at the Information Ministry, told Reuters. A timescale for the change in legislation has not been disclosed. All four of the country’s major fixed line and wireless operators – Telkom Kenya/Orange, Safaricom, Zain/Celtel and Econet – are majority owned by foreign investors, with either the Kenyan government or local partners holding minority interests.