(Ecofin Agency) - The government of Niger is looking to merge Niger Telecoms and Zamani Telecom. The project was unveiled by Sidi Mohamed Rahilou, the Minister of Communication, Postal Services, and Digital Economy, while recently visiting the two companies.
According to the source, the State of Niger will be the majority shareholder of the merger product. For now, only Niger Telecoms is fully owned by the Nigerien government. Zamani Telecom is owned by Mohamed Rissa (a Nigerien) and Moctar Thiam (a Senegalese).
The company was established in 2016 from the successful merger of the Nigerien Telecommunications Company (Sonitel) and its mobile subsidiary, Sahelian Communication Company (SahelCom). On the other hand, Zamani Telecom was born in 2019, following the acquisition of Orange Niger by the Nigerien Mohamed Rissa and Senegalese Moctar Thiam.
The planned merger between Niger Telecoms and Zamani Telecoms aligns with the Nigerien government's ambition to reinforce its position in the national telecoms market–a market currently dominated by the private sector. According to data from Niger’s telecom regulator, as of December 31, 2022, the three private operators—Airtel, Moov Africa, and Zamani—active in the country had a combined subscriber base of 15.04 million, against 333,702 subscribers for Niger Telecoms. The private sector also dominates the internet market with a 99.9% share.
Isaac K. Kassouwi