(Ecofin Agency) - In 2021, Millicom and Bharti Airtel exited the Ghanaian market selling their stake to the government. This time, a new investor is leaving the market, selling its stake to another investor. The situation raises questions about the competitive pressure behind such rapid market restructuring.
In a recent interview with Citi Business News, the Managing Partner of Telecom Group reassured Vodafone Ghana staff about their job security. The group has no "plans to lay off anybody. That’s not the way we operate in Telecel. We proved it with different organizations that we have in different sectors. [...] Our plan is to keep every employee of Vodafone," he said.
The statement comes two weeks after the National Communications Authority (NCA) approved Telecel Group's acquisition of Vodafone Ghana. It is of strategic importance to keep the morale of Vodafone Ghana's staff, who were already worried about their job. Indeed, with staff morale going down, Vodafone, whose performance has been dropping in the Ghanaian market since 2017 could sustain further damage in this sensitive transitional period.
Between June 2017 and June 2022, the telecom operator's market shrunk from 24.10% to 17.87%. According to the latest figures from the NCA, Vodafone Ghana is also two points away from losing its place as the second telecom operator to AirtelTigo, which holds 16.66% of the market share. MTN on the other hand has gained power and now controls 63.06% of the telecom market, growing by 15.5 points since 2017.
Telecel's acquisition of Vodafone comes 13 months after AirtelTigo was acquired by the Ghanaian government, with Bharti Airtel announcing the sales of 100% of its stake in November 2021.
The buyer, Telecel Group, is optimistic about the Ghanaian market. It even announced substantial investments to develop its presence, notably through the extension of the 4G network to allow a large part of the population to enjoy very high-speed internet, and the deployment of innovative fintech solutions to further improve financial inclusion.