The just ended Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) resulted in a $60 billion loan coming Africa’s way and the government has started disclosing how the funds will be allocated. Interestingly, NetOne will be one of the beneficiaries and maybe this injection of much needed funds will turn the ship around and make the MNO more competitive against Econet.
Speaking to the Herald, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo mentioned 3 specific projects that would be catered to by the $60 billion;
- NetOne retooling
- Hwange Power Station Units 7 and 8
- Upgrading RGM International Airport
These firms are said to have met the criteria to access these funds –though the criteria wasn’t made clear- and the NetOne project is already underway.
NetOne needs $400 million to compete
Back in February, the Minister of ICT and Cyber Security Supa Mandiwanzira noted that NetOne needed 400 million and above for the mobile network operator compete with Econet:
NetOne would require an investment of not less than US$400 million for it to be really in a position to compete with its peers in the market and of course there is a huge investment required in TelOne to finish its national backbone that it has a responsibility to build.
It’s not yet clear how much the government is actually allocating to NetOne which recently lost almost half of its subscriber base after some incidents surrounding the OneFusion.
We directed questions to the government-owned network operator and we will follow up once we have a clear picture of how much has actually been allocated and which areas are actually being addressed by this funding.