Uganda looks to revive state-owned UTL to attract buyer

3 May 2018

The government of Uganda has implemented a series of measures aimed at facilitating the sale of a stake in state-owned fixed and mobile operator Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL). The telco’s licence will be extended by 20 years, it will get cut-price access to the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI), and it could be granted additional wireless frequencies. The cabinet has also ordered all government ministries and departments to use UTL as their ISP.

In March 2017 the telco was renationalised, with the state assuming control of a 69% stake from Libyan firm LAP GreenN, which is itself part of the Libyan Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Holding Company (LPTIC). The government blamed the Libyan shareholder for failing to invest in UTL. The company entered receivership last year after accruing debt of around UGX700 billion (USD190 million), though this had been brought down to around UGX500 billion by early 2018.

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