The American company Africell will launch a mobile service in Angola

JOHANNESBURG, April 6 (Reuters)Africa-focused mobile network operator Africell will launch a service in Angola on Thursday, becoming the country’s fourth mobile telecommunications provider after a $150 million investment.

In an attempt to modernize its economy and attract private investment, the South African oil producer has embarked on a massive reform and privatization program under President Joao Lourenço, who came to power in 2017.

US-based Africell, which counts the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as its largest outside investor, secured an Angolan telecommunications license last year, becoming the first new operator to enter the market in two decades.

He joins Movicel, Unitel and the state company Angola Telecom.

“Africell is building a mobile network that will soon be recognized as the best in the country,” Africell Angola chief executive Chris Lundh said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company’s 5G-ready network will have an initial capacity of more than 6 million subscribers.

Africell currently provides services to approximately 12 million subscribers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia and Sierra Leone. He said last year he was leaving Uganda where he faced stiff competition from MTN MTNJ.J and Bharti Airtel BRTI.NS.

Africell’s African expansion is being backed by a 0 million loan facility from the DFC, which is accelerating infrastructure investment in the developing world with the stated aim of providing an alternative to Chinese lending.

The development of telecommunications infrastructure in Africa is dominated by Chinese companies such as Huawai Technologies and ZTE 0763.HK000063.SZ. Angola has always been the largest recipient of Chinese loans in Africa.

(Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by David Holmes)

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