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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sudatel erred in communication about Expresso Ghana sale


Sudanese telecoms giant Sudatel has admitted it erred in the communication of the decision to sell its shares in Kasapa Telecom, operator of the Expresso Ghana brand.

A press release on its website stated “selling of shares in Ghana operation was concluded in Q2 [second quarter] 2014.”

But Marketing Manager of Expresso Ghana, Fred Quainoo, who claimed to have been authorized by Acting Managing Director of Expresso Ghana, El Amir Ahmed El Amir, told Adom Business the communication on the Sudatel website was an error.

He said “Kasapa Telecom has not been sold; it is still owned by Sudatel and Sudatel actually reported on the performance of Expresso Ghana in its second quarter report.”

Fred Quainoo explained that the board of Sudatel wrote the original communication of the decision to sell in Arabic, but the error was committed in the translation to English.

“The board sought to communicate the mere decision to sell shares in Kasapa Telecom. Sudatel is a listed company in Sudan and in the Middle East, and the disclosure of such information by the board is basic requirement,” he said.

Quainoo said the legal and regulatory team at Sudatel are therefore working on how to correct the erroneous communication in the press release on Sudatel’s website to reflect the actual situation on the ground.

Meanwhile, as of the time of publishing this article, the statement on the Sudatel website still reads “selling of shares in Ghana operation was concluded in Q2 2014.”

Ghana’s telecoms regulator National Communication Authority (NCA) had said they were not aware of sale of Kasapa Telecom, as originally announced by Sudatel, but Quainoo said in a write up to Adom Business “Kasapa will adhere to all legal and regulatory requirements implicated by the [selling] process.”

He assured the public that the company is currently undergoing restructuring and reorganizing its operations to meet changing trends in the telecom industry and to serve existing and potential customers better.

Meanwhile, even though Quainoo said the actual communication was about the decision to sell, it would be recalled that long before the second quarter of this year, Sudatel had an exclusive negotiation with the Jospong Group of Companies in Ghana about the sale of Kasapa Telecom.

Pundits are therefore questioning why Sudatel claims the decision to sell was only concluded in the second quarter of 2014, when in fact it had negotiations with Jospong between April 2013 and January 2014.

It however still remains a fact that international sanctions on Sudan has made it difficult for Sudatel to move money around to recapitalize the Ghana operation, and that has partly informed the decision to sell.

Some highly placed sources within the telecom industry earlier told Adom Business the many legal issues hanging around the neck of the company was another reason Sudatel wants to sell and leave the country.

Prince Kofi Kludjeson
Founder and Chairman Kludjeson International, owners of Celltel Limited, which became Kasapa Telecom, operators of Expresso Ghana, Prince Kofi Kludjeson is in court claiming ownership of Kasapa Telecom.

He insisted that the sale of Kasapa Telecom to Sudatel was a fraud and so an onward sale from Sudatel to any other company would also be a fraud. The industry regulator, NCA is a respondent in one of those cases.

Kludjeson said he is almost set to start operating a network with the prefix 028 [Expresso Ghana’s prefix] under the brand name of Celltel in Ghana because “Kasapa Telecom is mine. I have documents to prove the company is still mine.”

Pundits say Kludjeson has no spectrum and valid license so it cannot run a telco legally on his own in Ghana, but industry regulator NCA earlier declined comment saying that matter was part of the issues in court.

Kasapa Telecom’s Expresso is the only CDMA network in Ghana. Its current subscriber base is a little above 127,000, representing just about 0.44% market share.  

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