TTCL management backs restructuring plan

30 Sep 2013 reports that the management of Tanzania’s state-backed PTO Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) is backing a proposal from the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology to implement a major reorganisation at the company. Communications minister Prof Makame Mbarawa is quoted as saying that an independent body has already been appointed to recruit new ‘top brass’ at the ailing telco – just one of several measures being put in place to shape the future of the operator. ‘The government is doing everything possible to make TTCL tick. Without effective top management you cannot get anywhere. The most important thing is top management,’ the minister told TTCL staff at Mara Regional TTCL offices in the municipality of Musoma at the weekend.

‘The other major aim of the government is to buy Airtel shares and we believe we will make it,’ Prof Mbarawa added, noting that negotiations between the India-based firm and the government ’are ongoing’. The minister is confident of agreeing a deal ‘in the near future’, hopefully bringing an end to the impasse surrounding Airtel’s involvement in TTCL.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that the current ownership of TTCL is unclear. In April 2010 the Tanzanian government apparently acquired the remaining 35% it did not already own of the national PTO after the Zain group pulled out of the partnership. Zain (now Airtel Tanzania) agreed to sell its shares in order to improve the telco’s efficiency and as part of a wider plan to withdraw from many African markets. However, the picture was muddied in February 2013 when the government announced that it had only now begun the formal process of taking 100% ownership of TTCL, with the aim of turning it around and making it run profitably. As it stands, TTCL is 65%-owned by the government, with a 35% holding still under the control of domestic mobile operator Airtel Tanzania.