Econet unveils plans to use Botswana base

Grace Kombora

ECONET Wireless has announced plans to use Botswana as the base for its global telecommunications operations after getting special tax concessions in that country.



T face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>A new holding company, Econet Wireless Global (EWG), has been set up in Botswana with an initial capitalisation of US$140 million. The group is now in the process of consolidating most of its telecommunications interests in some 10 countries.


“We have set up a Botswana-based company, Econet Wireless Global, that will be in charge of our telecommunications operations in Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific Rim,” a spokesman said in a statement.


“We chose Botswana so as to take advantage of the attractive incentives that are offered by the government of Botswana.”


The Botswana company will be in charge of telecommunications operations in the core areas of cellular, satellite and fixed networks with offices and operations in Botswana, Lesotho, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK.


In Botswana itself, EWG has a 40% interest in Mascom Wireless together with a Botswana investor group, Citizens Investments, which will also have shares in EWG.


Mascom Wireless operates Botswana’s largest mobile network based on subscriber numbers of nearly 300 000 customers.


In the UK, EWG owns Econet Satellite Services, a satellite operation with links which move international voice and data traffic for 61 countries over 400 networks worldwide. Econet also has telecommunications interests in Lesotho, Nigeria, New Zealand and Kenya.

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