Telecommunications Reform in Malawi

59 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by George R. G. Clarke

George R. G. Clarke

Texas A&M International University - A.R. Sanchez Jr., School of Business

Frew A. Gebreab

World Bank

Henry R. Mgombelo

World Bank

Date Written: April 17, 2003

Abstract

In 1998 the Government of Malawi decided to reform its telecommunications sector. Although the reform was ambitious in some ways, it was modest when compared with the most ambitious reforms adopted elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. The two main accomplishments were splitting the incumbent fixed line monopoly, the Malawi Post and Telecommunications Corporation, into two companies - Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) and Malawi Post Corporation (MPC) - and issuing two new cellular licenses to two new private entrants. In addition, the Government also established a new regulator which was separate from, but heavily dependent on, the Ministry of Information and liberalized entry in value-added and Internet services. However, the Government had neither privatized the fixed-line telecommunications operator nor introduced competition in fixed-line services by the end of 2002. Clarke, Gebreab, and Mgombelo discuss sector performance before reform, details of the reform, the political motivation for reform, and events in the five years following the reform. The reform yielded mixed results. Although cellular penetration and Internet use expanded dramatically following reform, prices increased, especially for cellular calls, and fixed-line penetration remains low by regional standards.

This paper - a product of Investment Climate, Development Research Group - is part of a larger six-country research program that looks at telecommunications reform throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

Suggested Citation

Clarke, George and Gebreab, Frew A. and Mgombelo, Henry R., Telecommunications Reform in Malawi (April 17, 2003). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3036. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636398

George Clarke (Contact Author)

Texas A&M International University - A.R. Sanchez Jr., School of Business ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
Laredo, TX 78041-1900
United States

Frew A. Gebreab

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Henry R. Mgombelo

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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