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Road to AfCFTA: South African President expected in Kigali

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a South African delegation to the 10th Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Kigali scheduled to take place on 21 March 2018

President Kagame and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. (Courtesy photo)

President Kagame and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. (Courtesy photo

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a South African delegation to the 10th Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Kigali scheduled to take place on 21 March 2018.

This was confirmed in a statement from the South African Presidency.

The AU session is preceded by an Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council that started Monday with aim of considering the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Legal instruments and launch the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The Summit, which will be chaired by President Paul Kagame, who is the current chairperson of the AU, is expected to consider and conclude issues related to the AfCFTA and adopt the Agreement on the Establishment of the AfCFTA.

“South Africa is committed to the establishment of an AfCFTA that will boost intra-Africa trade in accordance with the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” reads part of the statement from the South African Presidency.

According to the statement, President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Gratitude Magwanishe.

Airtel-Tigo merger kicks off with ‘Go from good to best’ campaign

Bharti Airtel and Tigo Rwanda have officially started the process to merge assets and services of the two firms, months after the takeover deal was approved by the regulator.

Amoateng says the merger will provide users with better services. / Courtesy.

Amoateng says the merger will provide users with better services. / Courtesy.

Bharti Airtel and Tigo Rwanda have officially started the process to merge assets and services of the two firms, months after the takeover deal was approved by the regulator.

“This is the first phase of the process and it involves harmonisation of services of two firms,” Philip Amoateng, the Airtel managing director, said during the launch of a campaign dubbed “Go from good to best”. Amoateng said the campaign seeks to raise awareness among subscribers about the benefits of Airtel’s recent acquisition of Tigo’s operations in Rwanda.

During this phase, we will be reassuring customers about the services and products we are offering, he told The New Times on Thursday.

“We are excited about this campaign which is designed to bring together our customers so that they can benefit from competitively-priced services and products.”

This means that both Tigo and Airtel customers will be able to enjoy fast Internet on one network, as well as affordable voice pack products, among others, Amoateng added.

Last year, Airtel announced 100 per cent equity takeover of the Millicom subsidiary company Tigo Rwanda Limited.

The deal was approved by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) on January 23, with formal closure of the acquisition concluded on January 30, paving way for merger process to start.

The move means Airtel will now consolidate the Rwandan telecom market and position itself as a strong contender in Rwanda with revenues of over $80 million.

Airtel has operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa.

Tigo Rwanda users will join over 370 million customers on Airtel’s global network across 17 countries.

Tigo has 3,443,332 active subscribers as at the end of January compared to 3,456,601 customers recorded in December 2017, according to RURA monthly active mobile telephone subscription report for January.

Airtel made the biggest gain during the month growing by 2.52 per cent to 1,675,497 users compared to 1,634,379 clients the previous month, the report shows. MTN customers were up by 2.25 per cent to 3,812,168 subscribers, from 3,728,237 users in December.

The telecom firm was still dominating in as at the end of January with 42.62 per cent of the market share, Tigo 38.65 per cent and Airtel has 18.73 per cent. The conclusion of the merger between Airtel and Tigo Rwanda has, however, propelled the new combined entity as market leaders in terms of subscriber numbers.

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