Friday, June 21, 2013

■ TANZANIA: Air Tanzania left hanging as big talking Omani consortium vanishes.

Air TanzaniaAl Hayat Development and Investment Company,  the big talking Omani outfit that earlier this year stated it was willing to invest USD100million (TSH160billion) into struggling airline, Air Tanzania (TC), has mysteriously vanished. The outfit had claimed that it was in the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzanian government at the end of January.

Air Tanzania's previous A320 (falcon)
According to the Daily News, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Transport, Mr Charles Tizeba, told a Parliamentary inquest that contrary to previous reports, no deal was ever signed with Al Hayat after the Omani's never returned to the follow-up meeting.
We did not discuss a 100 million-dollar investment in the ATCL. We were surprised to read from Omani press that we reached an agreement for 100 million dollar investment with him,” the Deputy Minister informed Members of Parliament.
Source [Daily News]

Amongst the purported plans announced by Al Hayat's Sheikh Salim Al Harthy in his USD100million deal were:
  • build an airline training centre, 
  • better offices for Air Tanzania,
  • buy aircraft,
  • engage in "other development activities which they plan to start within six to ten months this year."
Source [VenturesAfrica]

The planned investment was said to have been a direct result of Tanzania's President Kikwete’s state visit to Oman in October last year where he extolled the virtues of investing in Tanzania to various Omani businessmen.

Air Tanzania has often been left standing at the proverbial altar. In 2010, Chinese businessman, Sam Po and his "88 Queensway Group", a body of companies that includes the China International Fund (CIF) and China Sonangol International Holding, were lined up for a 49% stake in Air Tanzania (TC), only for the deal to collapse in 2010 over allegations of corruption in the Tanzanian ministry of transport.