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Thursday, August 20, 2015


The sun is rapidly setting on Sunil Bharti's pan-African adventure with reports that his Airtel Group is selling four more African units to operator Tigo.

These include Uganda, Niger and Gabon as Bharti Airtel looks to cut its losses on the African continent.

Speculation is now rife that Tigo could also end up taking over the Kenyan unit with pundits predicting a total Airtel exit by February next year.

Tigo is growing rapidly in the African markets it operates in and is present in Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad, Ghana, Congo DRC and Senegal.

The current MD of Airtel Kenya Adel Youseffi was previously heading the Tigo Ghana operation.

Tigo is a brand name of Millicom International, an outfit that was started in Raleigh, North Carolina in the US and went on to have stunning successes after successes.

For instance, when it was offered a mobile license in partnership with Racal Communications in Britain, it launched its Voice And Data Phone (Vodafone) which is the global behemoth we know today.

It then created China Telecom in that country and that is now the world's largest mobile operator.

It later started another rival network to Vodafone in the UK which it called Orange. This was bought out by Vodafone itself and later sold to France Telecom and is the global behemoth we know today as Orange.

It remains to be seen if it will make a play for the Kenyan Airtel unit.

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