Category Archives: Mobile Planet

Spotlight on foreign investors

after Morgan Stanley & Safaricom

Rift Valley Railways: This week as the patience of the governments of Kenya and Uganda reached new highs, local stakeholders finally got rid of the managing director. More stories are now coming out on the (lack of) financial strength of the backers of the railway. The East African newspaper has (consistently) had the best coverage of the railway management over the last two years.

About a year ago, the former MD gave a talk on the difficulties he faced in reviving the railway and the way forward for the 25 year program.

Tiomin is another ‘foreign investor’ who never had financing that was sufficient enough for them to launch their operations in Kwale, even after the government and the courts gave them go ahead

Zain is the new brand of the former Celtel Group that is expanding all over Africa. But according to their group financial results for the half year, Kenya is the only African country where they did not gain subscribers over the last year. At June ’08, Kenya had 1.9 million subscribers compared to 2.4 million in June 2007. Compare that to Uganda 1.8m (up 100%) and Tanzania 2.8m (up 48%). Half year revenue and loss was $79.4 million and $26.4m compared to %100m and a loss of $4.2 million at the same point in 2007 Safaricom is blamed for defending their market turf

Google have bought into Mobile Planet a leading local provider of value added mobile services (and also a Safaricom partner).