MIGA issued two guarantee contracts totaling $430,379 covering the Wilken Group of the United Kingdom for its equity and shareholder loan to Wilken Afsat (Tanzania) Limited (WAL) to establish a satellite communications link to transmit data to and from overseas locations. WAL is approximately two-thirds owned by Afsat Communications Limited, an affiliate of the Wilken Group, and a local consulting and marketing firm wholly owned by Tanzanian nationals. MIGA will cover the Wilken Group against the risks of currency transfer, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
The satellite system will help meet a high and unfulfilled demand for data communications services. The project will use VSAT (very small aperture terminal) technology licensed from a U.S. company. VSAT provides alternative, high-quality digital data links to locations where telephone services are not available or where existing telephone circuits are expensive, congested, or unreliable. Data will be transmitted to and from local users, as well as users in Uganda, through a hub to be installed in Kampala. Users will receive training, maintenance, and operational support.
This project is expected to have an important impact on Tanzania's economy by facilitating access to data communications for several thousand users, including local and foreign individuals, businesses, and public entities.