By MASATO MASATO, 21st July 2010 BHARTI Airtel, an Indian telecommunications company that has acquired African operations of Zain, yesterday announced an investment of 150 million US dollars (over 220bn/-) among other sweeping measures to transform Zain Tanzania into the local market leader. Tanzania is a great market with immense potentials for growth we want to be a partner in Tanzanias growth and work with the government to take telecom networks deep into small towns and villages of the country, said Manoj Kohli, Bhartis Chief Executive Officer (International). The CEO cited doubling of the local teledensity from the current 30 to over 60 per cent, raising affordability of telecommunication services and boosting employment in the telecommunications sector as some of the targets that the investor envisages achieving. We envisage availing our telecommunications services to over 25 million people. Tanzanians, be those in urban areas or farmers in rural villages need to own and use phones, said Mr Kohli, noting that costing and quality of mobile phone services remained the critical issues yearning for instant solutions in Tanzania. Communications, Science and Technology Minister Peter Msolla said of Bharti entry into the local market: We believe their affordability model which is a success in emerging markets will be of great benefit to Tanzanian consumers. Professor Msolla said Tanzania still has areas without mobile communications services, saying: I firmly believe Bharti Airtel strategy will focus on them. The 15-year old company also plans to introduce its ecosystem of global partners in Tanzania, resulting into additional employment opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled people. We intend to recruit not only qualified engineers to install and run our state-of-the art network systems but also semi-skilled rural youth in our distribution networks, Mr Kohli told a press conference in Dar es Salaam. The new investor will replicate its Indian Corporate Social Responsibility programme in the country by setting up of schools that offer free quality education to the underprivileged children in rural areas. This is the third time the cellular phone company is changing ownership. It started as Celtel, before changing into Zain and now Bharti. The CEO said the Zain brand will be replaced in November, this year. Other countries that Bharti has acquired operations are Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. Bharti Airtel, described as the fifth largest telecommunications company in the world, started in New Delhi, India in 1995 with five million US dollars annual turnover but has grown into a multinational firm with operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa. It offers mobile voice and data services, fixed line, high speed broadband and turnkey telecom solutions among other services. Meanwhile, Mr Sam Elangalloor was yesterday introduced as the companys new Managing Director for Tanzania, bringing in vast experience in the telecommunications sector. Sam has over 20 years of professional experience in all key areas of the telecom business, Mr Kohli said of the new MD. Zains Tanzania outgoing MD Khaled Muhtadi goes to Bahrain. Daily News | Bharti Airtel takes over Zain Tanzania, invests 220bn/- MY TAKE: Mbona mstakabali wa shares za TTCL zilizokuwa na utata kipindi cha Zain halijaongelewa au Prof. Msola ashashikishwa? maana uchaguzi ndo huo wajameni ningependa majibu ya suala hilo yangetangazwa kwa nguvu zilezile kama za kupinga ununuzi wa Zain by Bharti Airtel hapo mwanzo au ni sirikali? Mungu atulinde na ujambazi huu!