The president of Angola João Lourenço has confirmed that his government will go ahead with plans to licence a new telecommunications operator in the country in order to spur local competition.
State-owned news agency Angop reported that while on an official three-day visit to France and Belgium this week, Lourenço briefed investors and said the tender process to secure a third operator is already underway.
"The third operator will improve the services and reduce the telephone tariffs for the users." said Lourenço.
The confirmation comes nearly eight months after Lourenço vowed to open up the several industries, including telecommunications, to new entrants.
During his inauguration speech in September 2017, Lourenço said: "In the economic sphere, we believe that if the State fulfils its supervisory and regulatory role effectively, becoming even less involved in the economy, this will contribute to boost private initiatives, compelling it to occupy the place that it deserves and to assume its share of the work."
Bloomberg reported plans by Angola's ministry of Telecommunications to sell its 45% stake in Angola Telecom as part of the government's economic strategy.
According to annual 2017 statistics issued by Angola's telecommunications regulator O Instituto Angolano das Comunicações (INACOM), the North African country had 161 070 fixed line users, 13 323 952 mobile phone users and 4 473 057 internet users shared between the Angola Telecom and Unitel SA.
Angola's Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Dr. José Carvalho da Rocha has echoed the call for a more competitive telecommunications landscape.
At a workshop organised by INACOM in November 2017, Dr da Rocha said the main objectives of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology for the five-year period to 2022 is infrastructure sharing to enable other companies in the sector to establish themselves in the market and diversify their services.