President Museveni MTN Group at State House.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has applauded MTN Uganda for its decision to float 20 per cent of its shares on Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

“Localisation is very important. It removes nationalism in business where all people become partners,” he said adding “I announce MTN’s intention to float 20 per cent of its issued shares through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) of existing ordinary shares, a process which has already been approved by Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Uganda,” MTN Chairman Charles Mbire said on Wednesday.

“I met leaders of the MTN Group led by their chairman Mcebisi Jonas. The meeting comes just days after MTN Uganda arrived at an internal decision to float their shares.  Now, these people have also told me of their plan to invest US$300m in network expansion in the next three years,” Museveni said.

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Museveni said: “I am very happy with the localization strategy of giving shares to Ugandans. It is very important. Ugandans will now be partners in all the activities of MTN.”

MTN Uganda recently announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offer (IPO) and subsequently list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

According to the telecom, this follows the requisite approval by the Capital Markets Authority and Uganda Securities Exchange for MTN Group to sell 20% of its shareholding in MTN Uganda to the public. MTN Group owns 96% of MTN Uganda.

The listing is in line with the Group’s strategic priority to create shared value, partly through ensuring broad-based ownership in its operating subsidiaries. It is also in line with the provisions of MTN Uganda’s NTO licence, which require its listing by end-June 2022.

The Chairperson of MTN Mr. Mcebisi informed President Yoweri Museveni that they have made tremendous progress in the localization strategy that will see Ugandans acquire shares as the company aims at ensuring that MTN is owned by the people of Uganda.

“The localization process has started to ensure that MTN is owned by Ugandans. The overall new strategy is that as a company, it is owned by Africans,” he said.

He further announced that key positions are currently manned by Ugandans including that of CEO MTN in South Sudan.

He also said that MTN is committed to stay in Uganda and is set to invest US$ 300 million in the next three years.

The Chairperson also promised to contribute vaccines against #Covid-19 pandemic as well as roll out services to the people in rural areas.

In 2019 President Museveni urged MTN Uganda to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) so that some of the revenue stays in the country as opposed to all moving out. At that time National Social Security Fund (NSSF) had acquired 4 percent of the shares and the Fund remains a potential purchase of the extra stake.

Last year June, 2020, the Government of Uganda through Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) renewed the National Telecommunication Operator Licence of MTN Uganda and thus extended its stay in Uganda on condition that they would sell 20 percent of its shares to the public of Uganda.

MTN Uganda was first granted a Second National Operator License for the provision of telecommunications services on October 20, 1998 for a period of 20 years. The telecommunication giant paid $100 million for renewal of the license for 12 years.