The President announced today that government has resolved to sell 75% shares of the Zambia Telecommunications Corporation (Zamtel) to a private equity partner and retain 25 % shares to enable the company operate profitably. ZAMTEL needs about US$200m to recapitalize and the President said he has no money, given other priorities. The plan is for government to "hold the 25 percent and possibly later sell them to the public through the Lusaka Stock Exchange". The privatisation of ZAMTEL will also entail the "liberalization of the International Gateway".
At the surface this looks like the "decoupling approach" we have advocated and backed by Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Communication, but it remains to be seen what is done about the IGW itself - we have recommended to Government directly this model. (Yes, really we wrote to them and they responded saying "ZAMTEL does not need space age solutions, it just needs new money".....but we knew they had no money and sooner or later they would realise that!)