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Airtel Africa Plc Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month.

Over the past decade, Airtel Africa has supported social transformation across the continent by enabling millions of people to access data services and be part of the financial system.

Bharti Airtel established its presence in Africa when it acquired Zain Telecom’s Africa operations in June 2010.

The company has achieved significant growth, reaching more than 110 million customers, bridging the digital divide, and increasing financial inclusion.

The anniversary follows another recent milestone for Airtel Africa when the company was listed on the London and Nigerian stock exchanges.

Airtel Africa employs more than 3,300 people across Africa, with another 1.6 m people earning through working with Airtel Africa as entrepreneurs and in its distribution network.

Airtel Africa’s voice, data, and mobile money services are driving growth and Transforming Customers’ lives.

Airtel Africa provides voice services to 110.6m customers, data services to 35.4m customers, and mobile money services to 18.3m customers. The company had a turnover of $3.4 bn in the last financial year.

Over the past decade, Airtel Africa has expanded its network footprint enabling millions of people to access telecoms services and taken the lead in the rollout of robust 4G networks, helping to drive digitalization.

The introduction of wireless home broadband has further helped service customers’ evolving needs. Airtel Africa’s mobile money services provide customers with exclusively assured float and a growing number of strategic partnerships enable cross-border money transfers.

Airtel Africa has also launched a virtual card, further boosting financial inclusion.

Reflecting on the past 10 years, Raghunath Mandava, CEO, Airtel Africa, said: “Our vision is to enrich the lives of our customers. I want to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues, partners, suppliers, and distributors for their support as we have worked together to deliver on our purpose.

In these challenging times, the Airtel Africa team along with our partners are working hard to provide our customers with reliable voice, data, and mobile money services.”

History of Airtel Africa plc

2010:   

Bharti Airtel Limited acquired the African operations of the Zain Group (formerly Mobile Telecommunications Group) comprising 36 million subscribers operating in 15 countries, including 12 of the Group’s current 14-country footprint.

The Group further expanded its footprint with the acquisition of Telecom Seychelles Limited.

2012:

The Group launched its greenfield operations in Rwanda.

2013:   

The Group expanded its operations in Uganda and in Congo through the acquisition of Warid Telecom Uganda and Warid Congo SA from the Warid Group.

2015:  

The Group acquired yuMobile’s subscriber base in Kenya from Essar Telecommunications Kenya, a part of the Essar Group.

2016: 

The Group completed the sale of its operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone to France-based Orange, to better streamline the Group’s footprint in East Africa.

2017:

The Group deconsolidated its operations in Ghana upon entering into a joint venture with Millicom International Cellular (which operates under the “Tigo” brand in Ghana) whereby Airtel and Millicom share equal ownership and governance rights in a combined “AirtelTigo” entity.

2018:

The Group acquired the operations of Tigo Rwanda, a subsidiary of Millicom.

Airtel Africa Limited, the Group’s UK holding company, was incorporated and registered as a private company in England and Wales.

The Company completed an initial round of pre-IPO funding, raising US$1.25 billion.

2019:

Telkom Kenya Limited (“Telkom Kenya”), the third-largest MNO in Kenya, announced its intention to transfer its mobile operations, enterprise, and carrier business to Airtel Kenya, the Group’s operating subsidiary in Kenya.

Airtel Africa is listed on the London and Nigerian stock exchanges.

 

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Business

Mozambique Scandal: Credit Suisse & U.S. Conclude Deal

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Credit Suisse Group AG is nearing an agreement with the U.S. government that would resolve a criminal probe regarding its role in a U$2 billion Mozambique bond scandal, according to people familiar with the matter.

The discussions with the U.S. Justice Department involve a deferred prosecution agreement that would include a fine, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential. An agreement is expected to be announced Tuesday.

Any deal with U.S. prosecutors would be the latest action in a multi-year, international legal saga arising out of the 2013-14 deals that were supposed to fund a new coastal patrol force and tuna fishing fleet in Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries.

In a 2018 indictment, the U.S. Justice Department alleged the contracts were a front for government officials and bankers to enrich themselves.

Three former Credit Suisse bankers have pleaded guilty to U.S. charges stemming from the scheme.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on any agreement, as did the U.S. Justice Department.

A deal could help put to bed one scandal, even as the bank has been punished this year by investors for its stumbles with Archegos Capital Management and Greensill Capital, which have spurred broad management shakeups.

Mozambique has filed suit against Credit Suisse and shipbuilder Privinvest, one of several cases in U.K. courts that involve the bond deal.

Unlawful Conduct’

In defending its London lawsuit, Credit Suisse has insisted that it was deceived by rogue bankers and couldn’t be held responsible for their “unlawful conduct” when it arranged the loans in early 2013.

The Swiss bank has said it carried out its usual due diligence before the transactions and was aware of the risk of bribery and corruption.

Andrew Pearse, who led the global financing group in the bank’s London office, testified at a federal trial in Brooklyn, New York that he’d pocketed at least U$45 million in illicit payments for his role in the arrangement of the loans.

The Credit Suisse loans were for three separate maritime projects including a tuna fishing fleet, the building of a shipyard and surveillance operation to protect Mozambique’s coastline and protect against pirates, according to Pearse.

Mozambican government officials, corporate executives and investment bankers stole about U$200 million, prosecutors said.

Both Pearse and his successor at the bank, Surjan Singh, who also pleaded guilty, testified at the 2019 trial of Jean Boustani, a Privinvest Group executive accused by the U.S. of being behind the plan to get Mozambique to borrow billions of dollars and overpay for dubious maritime projects.

A third banker, Datelina Subeva, Pearse’s subordinate, also pleaded guilty but didn’t testify.

All three bankers await sentencing. After a six-week trial in late 2019, a federal jury cleared Boustani of all charges.

Bloomberg

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DRC Opposition Protests Against Phone Tax

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Martin Fayulu, DRCs leader of opposition coalition LAMUKA has called upon all citizens to take to the streets and demand for the abolition of a controversial mobile phone tax.

In June 2020, the DRC government set up – through the ICT, Post and Telecoms Ministry – a CEIR system (Central Equipment Identification Register), with the aim to fight fake devices and the theft of mobile devices.

However, Telephony mobile users claim the Mobile Device Registry (RAM), a controversial new tax is robbing them of their units and making them poorer.

In terms of RAM, mobile operators are cutting a big chunk of units monthly from their customers’ mobile devices, which many users believe is too high and unnecessary.

“We are calling for the immediate withdrawal of RAM. Because it’s theft, a scam. That no one is demobilized. Let’s march and denounce it because it is outright  theft. Once withdrawn, all money collected must be returned, ”said Martin Fayulu.

During a meeting this Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Kinshasa, Martin Fayulu called for the outright abolition of this fee.

During the rally, the leader of Lamuka pinpointed other topical issues, including the issue of appointing the leaders of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

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Tanzania’s Economy Records 4.3% Expansion in 2nd Quarter

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Tanzania’s economic outlook seems very impressive as the country registered a 4.3% expansion between April and June according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Compared to the country’s economic performance in the same period last year, there has been a 0.3% upward expansion.

Briefing the media on Friday, Daniel Masolwa NBS Director of Economics Statistics, said, “Real GDP increased to Shs 33.4trillion from Shs 32trillion in the corresponding period in 2020, an equivalent to a 4.3% growth,” he said.

During the second Quarter of 2020, Tanzania’s economy registered the lowest growth rate of 4.0% since 2017 mainly due to the devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic following the introduction of lockdowns and many countries to mitigate spread of this pandemic.

However, Masolwa tried to cool down any skepticism saying, the annual economic growth in 2021 is projected at a 5.0% rate. In terms of economic activities, he  said, during the period under review, information and communication attained the highest growth of 12.3%, followed by electricity generation at 12.1%.

Meanwhile, other services include arts and entertainment and households as employers (10.8%), accommodation and food services (10.1%), water (8.4%), and mining and quarrying (7.3%).

According to Masolwa, the expansion of economy by 4.3% during the second Quarter of 2021 was spearheaded by key drivers of growth which include Agriculture (13%), transport and storage (8.4%), trade and maintenance (8.1%), manufacturing (7.6%) and construction (7.1%).

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