Dar es Salaam. India-based Bharti Airtel International is to hand over Sh5.27 billion to Tanzania’s government today in part implementation of their agreement over ownership of Airtel Tanzania.
The amount includes Sh2.27 billion as support to the government for economic development and Sh3 billion as part of implementing the agreement.
A statement issued yesterday by the director of presidential communications, Mr Gerson Msigwa, said Bharti Airtel International promised to pay Sh1 billion each month to the government of Tanzania to settle the Airtel Tanzania ownership misunderstanding.
In an agreement reached in January, this year, the government’s share in Airtel Tanzania was increased to 49 per cent, from 40 per cent – thus narrowing Bharti Airtel’s ownership to 51 per cent from 60 per cent.
Bharti Airtel also agreed to pay dividends to the government of Tanzania to the tune of Sh10 billion (about $4.4 million), money which Tanzania had not received during the past ten years.
Bharti Airtel also announced the write-off of a debt of about Sh1 trillion that Tanzania owed the telecoms firm.
The firm will also contribute Sh2.3 billion to Tanzania in the form of social corporate responsibility.
“The agreement has opened a new chapter on cooperation between Bharti Airtel and Tanzania. This agreement has written new history,” said Mr Sunil Mittal, founder and chair of Bharti Enterprises, earlier in the year.
For his part, President John Magufuli said, “This is the kind of investment that we prefer. Airtel has been in Tanzania for the past eight, nine years, during which the country was not benefiting.”
Shortly before the Bharti Airtel money handing-over ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, President Magufuli will swear into office the new minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Innocent Bushungwa, as well as the new Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) commissioner general, Dr Edwin Mhede, and the new Njombe Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Charles Kicheere.