(Business in Cameroon) - For at least 4 years now, in Cameroon, the mobile telephony sector has not been very successful after many years of success. According to an authoritative source, the recently created operators' association is expected to take a formal position on this issue soon.
To support the thesis of the temporary decline of the mobile sector in the country, a source close to the case reveals that over the last 4 years, the three operators operating in Cameroon (MTN, Orange and Nexttel) have lost 4% of their overall turnover.
According to the same source, in 2018 alone, the country's mobile telephony companies recorded a loss of XAF96 billion. The environment in the Cameroonian mobile telephony sector in recent years is such that a company like Orange Cameroon has not distributed a dividend to its shareholders over the past 4 years.
These losses have been exacerbated in the last three years by the socio-political crisis that has been ongoing since late 2016 in Cameroon's two English-speaking regions, the Northwest and Southwest.
Indeed, like the agribusiness companies operating in this part of the country, mobile operators (MTN, leader of the Cameroonian operators notably, ed.note) are facing a major disruption of their activities, due in particular to the destruction of their equipment and the difficulty in repairing them, due to insecurity.
The gloomy situation the sector is going through is also partly explained by the battle that Nexttel (the country's third-largest operator)’s shareholders have been waging for several months to control the company.
Nexttel, the most profitable African subsidiary of the Vietnamese group Viettel Global, as early as 2016, only 2 years after the launch of its activities, was experiencing a decline in its performance. This has been the case since Baba Danpullo, the Cameroonian shareholder and his Vietnamese partners of Viettel Global started fighting before courts and local authorities to take exclusive control of this promising mobile operator.
Brice R. Mbodiam