India’s Bharti Airtel has agreed to pay 60 billion shillings ($26 million) over five years and cancel debt to resolve a dispute over ownership of its Airtel Tanzania unit, the Tanzanian government said on Monday.
Tanzania’s minister for foreign affairs and east Africa cooperation, Palamagamba Kabudi, announced the deal at a ceremony to receive a three-month batch of monthly payments worth 1 billion shillings each due from April this year.
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In 2017, the Indian company was drawn into a dispute with Dar es Salaam over ownership of the mobile operator after President John Magufuli said it was fully owned by state-run Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL)
After prolonged negotiations the two sides in January signed a settlement that included Bharti Airtel agreeing to increase the government’s stake in the company from 40% to 49%.
Bharti Airtel Executive Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said he hoped would the deal would “give a fresh start to the company.”(Reuters)