Francis Wangusi, director general of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), has confirmed that local telcos Airtel Kenya and AccessKenya have each been given a three-year reprieve within which to comply with rules requiring all domestic telecoms operators to ensure a 20% Kenyan shareholding. The Star quotes Wangusi as commenting: ‘The ministry has informed us about the extension … but it is not bound to give us more details’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Airtel is 95%-owned by Bharti Airtel of India, with Naushad Merali the sole local investor. Meanwhile, South Africa-based Dimension Data acquired AccessKenya for around KES3 billion (USD35.3 million) in May this year. Had the 20% rule had not been waived, it was understood that CEO Jonathan Somen intended to re-purchase 20% of the firm’s shares.