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Telecommunications reform in Malawi

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  • Clarke,George R.*Gebreab, Frew A.*Mgombelo, Henr

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Clarke,George R.*Gebreab, Frew A.*Mgombelo, Henr, 2003. "Telecommunications reform in Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3036, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shirley, Mary M & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2001. "Empirical Effects of Performance Contracts: Evidence from China," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 168-200, April.
    2. Azam, Jean-Paul & Dia, Magueye & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2002. "Telecommunications sector reforms in Senegal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2894, The World Bank.
    3. Shirley, Mary M. & Tusubira, F.F. & Gebreab, Frew & Haggarty, Luke, 2002. "Telecommunications reform in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2864, The World Bank.
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    5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2002. "Telecommuications reform in Cote d'Ivoire," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2895, The World Bank.
    6. Haggarty, Luke & Shirley, Mary M. & Wallsten, Scott, 2003. "Telecommunication reform in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2983, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:juipol:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:1-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. George R.G. Clarke & Katrina Kosec & Scott Wallsten, 2009. "Has private participation in water and sewerage improved coverage? Empirical evidence from Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 327-361.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Sector Economics; Rural Communications; Telecommunications Infrastructure; Education for the Knowledge Economy; ICT Policy and Strategies; Knowledge Economy;

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