The authorities in Tanzania will allow overseas investors to take part in telecom operator listings after earlier efforts fell flat, Bloomberg said.

Citing Philip Mpango, finance minister, the report said the intention is to sell shares to: “Tanzanians, Tanzanian companies, Tanzania in the diaspora, joint ventures between Tanzanians and foreigners, East Africans or companies owned by East Africans, or citizens from other countries”.

The move comes after earlier efforts – such as an IPO of Vodacom Tanzania – struggled in the face of limited local demand. Bloomberg noted Vodacom is yet to announce the result of its offer, leading to a delay in listing.

Tanzania has been looking for local phone companies to list at least 25 per cent of their shares on the Dar Es Salaam bourse to boost domestic ownership. However, this means the supply of telecom operator shares is likely to exceed demand, due to the limited size of the local investor pool.

Millicom’s Tigo Tanzania is also moving toward an IPO.

Changes being made will also exempt smaller players from listing, by focusing on businesses with network facilities and services, Bloomberg said.