Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a telecommunications company founded by Strive Masiyiwa, says the shortage of foreign currency on the market has negatively affected its operations.
In its third quarter (Q3) to November 2022 trading update, Econet said the situation is being worsened by persistent power cuts that have prompted the company to use more foreign currency to invest in alternative energy sources such as solar.
The group said it continues to negotiate payment terms with its network equipment vendors that take into account local business challenges. Read the part of the report:
Foreign currency availability for servicing our network foreign suppliers continues to be a major challenge and has hampered our ability to implement much-needed network maintenance and expansion.
Overall, the local telecommunications industry has been struggling to meet the capacity and coverage demands of consumers as investment in long overdue capacity enhancements and routine maintenance remains severely constrained by the lack of access to foreign currency for our foreign network suppliers.
Despite these challenges, Econet’s revenue for the 9 months period grew by 9 per cent in inflation-adjusted terms compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year.
The growth was largely driven by voice and data volumes, which were however weighed down by tariffs which were below inflation.