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BUSINESS NEWS: 'Airtel' To Leave Ghana’s Telecom Market Space


The Government of Ghana says it is at the advanced stages of acquiring 100% shares of merged companies; Airtel and Tigo.


It will be concluded by the execution of definitive agreements shortly, a statement from the Government announced.


The government says the decision is aimed at protecting jobs and safeguarding the interest of stakeholders of Airtel which has some 5.1 million customers


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"The Government of Ghana through this transaction, will temporarily operate this national asset in the best interest of the nation, and ensure the protection of the interests of all employees, customers and stakeholders, and a continuation of the digital transformation in Ghana."


"Given the multiplier impact the telecommunications sector has on the economy and various related industries, the Government of Ghana has entered into this agreement to ensure that thousands of Ghanaian Jobs are safeguarded ".the statement added.


Background

Bharti Airtel in 2017 merged with Millicom's Tigo in Ghana to become the country's second-largest mobile operator, Airtel-Tigo, with the approval of The National Communications Authority.


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AirtelTigo serves around a 5.1million subscribers and offers direct and indirect employment opportunities to almost 10,000 people.


Celtel International acquired 75%of western Telesystems Ltd( Westel) from the Government of Ghana for $120 million in 2017. Celtel was subsequently acquired by the Zain Group which also sold all its African Assets to Bharti Airtel in 2010.


The Government of Ghana remained a shareholder in Airtel Ghana with a 25% holding through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, until the AirtelTigo merger, and retained an option to acquire additional shares after the merger.


Westel was at the time of the takeover by Celtel, the second national operator in Ghana, and was licensed to provide fixed and mobile (GSM) telecommunications services.


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Milicom Ghana Limited was the first mobile telecommunications company to operate in the country under the brand name Mobitel before rebounding to become Tigo.


Story by Rodney Tsenuokpor

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