The government of Rwanda is hoping to sell telecoms operator Rwandatel by the end of the year in a move aimed at raising funds to pay off the company’s creditors, The New Times reports. The decision follows an order by the commercial court in Nyarungenge to liquidate the firm, which had its mobile licence revoked in April 2011 due to its failure to meet licence obligations. The court stated that liquidation is the best way to safeguard the interests of Rwandatel’s creditors and other stakeholders. ‘The liquidation strategy to be adopted is to sell the business assets to another player offering telecommunication services. The move will ensure maximisation of the value of assets and enable continuation of service delivery without interruption,’ commented Rwandatel’s administrator, Richard Mugisha. All Rwandatel creditors are requested to submit their claims against the company by 18 August 2011.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, telecoms regulator RURA revoked Rwandatel’s mobile licence in April 2011, citing the company’s failure to meet its licence obligations, such as coverage, quality of service and planned investment targets. The operator’s fixed telephony and internet service provider (ISP) services remain operational as the two services are provided under a separate concession. RURA said the decision to cancel Rwandatel’s mobile licence had nothing to do with enforcing a United Nations (UN) resolution to impose sanctions on Libya, including freezing of its assets, following unrest in the North African nation. Rwandatel is 80% owned by Libyan government investment vehicle LAP Green Networks, with the remainder held by the state via the Social Security Fund of Rwanda.