MTL opts for partnership
Efforts to revamp Malawi’s telecommunications giant, MTL, are at an advanced stage, officials have said.
The firm is reported to be in need of about $40 million to face-lift its operations in an ambitious project which was hatched between 2016 and 2017.
MTL Board Member Lyton Chithambo said the company is in search of strategic partners.
“We need partners in what we call share subscription where we are encouraging other people with money to invest in the company so that we start providing quality services to Malawians,” he said.
Chithambo has said the process of identifying partner companies is at an advanced stage.
He says MTL has been negotiating with four companies which showed interest investing in the company.
“We have now settled for one serious company drive our (MTL’s) activities forward, what remains now are background checks because we need to know where the company gets its finance among others,” Chithambo said.
According to Chithambo, the process could be over in the next six weeks and that Malawians could expect MTL to roll back to life as early as this year.
“It is a cumbersome and complex process, but it is coming to an end. Suffice to say that we are already replacing damaged fibre with new technology in Blantyre and Lilongwe as we await for the new investor who will enable us to conduct the maintenance works at a large scale,” Chithambo said.
Documents we have seen suggest an exclusivity agreement with local technological company Bengol.Net Limited (BNL) for a possible equity transaction between February 2021 and March the same year.
Bengol. Net’s Managing Director Mohammad Zafar Abdullah confirmed the company’s interest in MTL.
“We are ready to revamp internet connectivity in Malawi at fair prices, we are already providing cheaper internet in the country and we are determined to do that at a large scale through partnerships,” Mohammad Zafar said.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.