Guinea Bissau: Government takes control of Guiné-Telecom and Guinetel

14 May 2008

Bissau, Guinea Bissau, 14 May – The government of Guinea Bissau has taken over the management of telecommunications companies Guiné-Telecom and Guinetel as it considers that Portugal Telecom (PT) has abandoned management of the Luso-Guinean companies, officials said in Bissau Monday.

According to a government statement, “with the prolonged absence of PT and its refusal to call together the governing bodies of Guiné-Telecom and Guinetel, abandonment has been confirmed.”

The document also noted that the government had turned down a request put forward by PT to sell its shares in Guinetel to a buyer chosen by the Portuguese company.

Prime minister Martinho N’Dafa Cabi has thus mandated the ministers for Transport and Communication and the Economy to find external financiers for development of the telecommunications network of the two companies.

Guiné-Telecom (fixed line and Internet) and Guinetel (mobile network) are both majority-owned by the Guinean government and are experiencing serious technical and financial difficulties.

Portugal Telecom Investimentos Internacionais represents the Portuguese part of Guiné-Telecom with a 40 percent stake, whilst the Guinean state owns 50 percent and the company’s workers hold the remaining 10 percents share.(macauhub)