The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, witnessed the signing ceremony of two cooperation agreements between Telecom Egypt (TE) and Vodafone Egypt, as the government looks to collaborate more with telecom firms to inject more investment in the sector.
The first protocol is related to distribution of Vodafone’ profits with TE, as the company owns a 45% stake in Vodafone. TE has only received EGP 8bn of its share of the Vodafone revenue since 2003.
Ahmed El Beheiry, the former CEO of TE-which an 80% of its stake is owned by the Egyptian ministry of communications and information technology-talked about this matter publicly last November, saying that Vodafone has been retaining the profits.
“The agreements give us confidence in the future of Vodafone Egypt and our partnership with TE. We believe that the distribution of profits with Telecom Egypt as a shareholder in Vodafone Egypt will assist building a strong infrastructure in Egypt.” Froment-Curtil said.
According to the new protocol, TE will receive EGP 5.5bn in two tranches: EGP 4.8bn in March and EGP 0.7bn in June 2020, which represent 82% of the retained profits.
“We are pleased to reach an agreement that benefits both companies. The agreement is an important step for Telecom Egypt. We will use cash flows from distributions to repay our loans in Egyptian pounds to low financing cost and increase the profitability of the company” Hamed said.
Alexandre Froment-Curtil, CEO of Vodafone Egypt and Adel Hamed, CEO of TE singed the cooperation protocols.
Talaat pointed out that these agreements and similar agreements signed between companies operating in the ICT sector come as a part of compatibility and mutual benefit to increase investments in order to develop the sector.
The second protocol between the two firms is about the delivery of correspondence and infrastructure services. Under this agreement, Vodafone’s current and future needs in local correspondence will be covered by TE. It also will provide fibre optic capacity services for Vodafone Egypt’s network.
In another context, the ICT minster inaugurated on Monday the second regional conference of the International Telecommunications Society, which is hosted by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in Aswan from 18 until 21 February.
Talaat stressed in his speech the importance of advancing all efforts to achieve complementarity and exchange experiences through research and discussions that bring together all concerned parties from all over the world, including academic researchers, the business sector and policy-makers, to meet the demands of the digital era.
He also highlighted that the Egyptian vision for the ICT sector is based on the need to build a scientific knowledge base in parallel to development and growth in the sector, so that perceptions and decisions for decision-makers are based on a rational and scientific view.