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Africell secures tax exemptions in Angola

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Angola , 28 Jul 2021

Angola has passed a law that authorises the country’s President João Lourenço to grant a tax and customs exemption to Africell, the country’s fourth mobile phone operator.

Angola’s Minister for Telecommunications, Information Technology and Media Manuel Homem said the contract in place with the telecommunications provider includes a programme for coverage between urban centres and rural areas, with a target of 60% coverage of urban areas within eight years of operation.

Africell will benefit from a reduction of the settlement rate of Industrial Tax from 30% to 3.5%, and withholding industrial tax rate, currently at 6.5%, will also be reduced. The Property tax rate of 25% will also be reduced to 0.06% for a period of eight years.

The exemptions will enable Africell to have sufficient capital to purchase telecommunications equipment to enable rapid expansion across the country.

Africell has vowed to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure and services and to start operations and create over 6,000 jobs.

Minister Homem said the operator has already invested US$800-million to begin operations.

The government believes Africell will usher in much-needed competition that will help reduce the high cost of communication and boost the quality of services and increase the penetration rate of telecommunication services.

Homem added: “The proposed incentives under this law result from a market study and negotiations and do not affect competition for companies operating in this specific service. The fourth operator has access to incentives due to a regime that has been applied to other operators and the other operators have had many more benefits. We had to create conditions for this operator to make this investment of about US$800-million to guarantee its operation.”

According to the Minister, Angola has over 22, 000km fibre optic cables and that the country is connected via undersea cable infrastructure to Brazil, South Africa, Portugal and Miami in the USA.

Angola is also connected to the single African Telecommunications network.

Africell has operations in four African countries- DRC, Uganda, Sierra Leon and Gambia, and was awarded Angola’s fourth licence in May 2020.

The Angolan market is currently dominated by Movicel and Unitel and is home to approximately 15 million subscribers.

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