LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 AFRICA, TANZANIA: The regulatory climate in Africa does not encourage operators to invest, lamented Daddy Bujitu Mukadi, chief regulatory officer of Airtel Africa.
An “extraordinary” rise in taxation, a recurrent theme of this event, is a major barrier to investment, said Mukadi, as is high import duties and regulatory fees.
Another is lack of a level playing field, as dominant players are granted an unfair advantage over resources like spectrum.
He cited an example of an 800MHz spectrum auction in a market with six operators, which had a reserve price of $67 million. “How do you expect operators to invest?” he asked.
He reiterated that investment is the basis of improving customer satisfaction, paving the way for new data services, and meeting demands of consistent quality and uninterrupted delivery of connectivity.
Mukadi recommended a framework that allows for the extension of network coverage in under-serviced areas, lowers industry costs, increases regulatory clarity and certainty and lightens burdens on resources.
He also believes services should be regulated in the interest of the public and policy makers must think about the long-term impact of their decisions.