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SA Companies Face Several Legal Challenges Affecting their Businesses in Cameroon

A Cameroon court ordered banks used by MTN Group to transfer its funds into escrow over a dispute the wire carrier says it has nothing to do with, marking an escalation of a conflict that had already frozen MTN’s access to local accounts. The order, dated June 9, relates to a dispute between South African lender First National Bank and Cameroonian businessman Ahmadou Baba Danpullo, MTN said in an emailed response to questions. MTN Cameroon said moving the money to an escrow account is unnecessary as it has already been frozen for ten months due to the dispute, adding the issue “poses a serious risk to the continuation of our business.” MTN is Africa’s largest wireless carrier and has about 12 million clients in Cameroon, representing more than half of the local market. It says it has been targeted in the dispute because South Africa’s national pension fund, the Public Investment Corp, is a shareholder in both First National Bank and MTN.