President Lazarus Chakwera has given the nod for Malawi to grant the mobile licence for the country’s third mobile operator.
Chakwera signaled the nod when he outlined his new administration’s development agenda and lured investors to come to Malawi during a live virtual interview held at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe and hosted by London-based Invest Africa, a leading pan-African business platform.
The President was answering a question by the hosts who asked about the status of ICT in Malawi. They also asked: “Will you be issuing more licenses for Mobile phone companies and internet service providers?”
Responding, Chakwera said he was keen to make sure more Malawian youth are ICT savvy and that a third mobile network will be a welcome investment to the promotion of the development of information communication technologies (ICTs) in both urban and rural areas of the country.
He said new mobile operator will promote competition in the telecommunications industry in the country thereby increasing the quality and affordable telecommunications services in Malawi for the benefit of all stakeholders.
This comes after the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ICT expert Daud Sulemani of the Kokoliliko wing of the party said the newly registered Kokoliliko Holdings LTD (KH) is processing the set up of a mobile phone company through a subsidiary and appointed TNM’s Dan Makata as its board chairperson.
Some years ago the government issued a licence to a third mobile phone service provider called Malawi Mobile Limited, but the project could not start due to a litigation against one of its share holders who was accused of giving out kickbacks to facilitate the acquisition of the investment and the licence was cancelled in 2005 which attracted legal battles.
A third mobile operator, Global Advanced Integrated Networks (G-Mobile), was licensed in July 2008, but the company lost its licence after failed to meet network rollout deadlines.
Celcom Limited, a wholly-owned Malawian telecommunications company, also lost its licence after it failed to roll out.
At the moment Malawi has two established mobile phone network service providers, Airtel Malawi and Telecoms Networks of Malawi (TNM).
During the Invest Africa webinar interview, Chakwera also tacked tourism =, saying plans were in place to upgrade lakeshore towns of Mangochi and Salima into tourism cities which he pointed out that will need serious investments.
Chakwera also said the country needs enough power and that time has come to diversify away from hydro-electricity to other viable alternatives sources such as wind power.
During the interview, the President assured investors that his administration is working on ending on bureaucracy to serve them well,
“Sometimes t takes say 40 days to process [paperwork for investors] when it can take less than 10 days, infact only a few hours,” he said.
“I am currently talking to ministries, departments and agencies to streamline everything. We want Mitc [Malawi Investment and Trade Centre] to be a one-stop centre when it come to all this,” said Chakwera.
He also highlighted a number of strategic sectors of interest by investor including mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :