Angolan leader cancels newly-awarded mobile phone licence

21 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

LUANDA: Angola’s President Joao Lourenco has cancelled a mobile phone licence awarded to a little-known startup company due to “non-compliance”, his office said Thursday.

Local company Telstar was last week awarded a license to operate the country’s fourth mobile network, valued at $120-million-dollars (106 million euros), beating 26 other local and international firms, reports AFP.

The tender will be reopened, said a statement from the presidency. Telstar was established only in January 2018. Listed among its shareholders are army general Manuel Joao Carneiro and entrepreneur Antonio Cardoso Mateus.

According to Angolan weekly Expansao, the company has links to Mundo TelecomunicaØoes, an operator owned by several former ministers or advisers to ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The profitable mobile telecommunications sector is currently shared between two private firms, Movicel and Unitel, the country’s leading operator.

Isabel dos Santos, the former president’s oldest daughter — believed to be the richest woman in Africa — holds a controlling stake in Unitel while her half-sister, Welwitschia dos Santos, holds a stake in Movicel.