The latest issue (#421) of Balancing Act News Update has an interesting story based on the prosecution (in the US) of former sales agents for ITXC found guilty of bribery in arranging VoIP connectivity contracts.
Six of the seven telcos involved were state owned businesses and in the one with private ownership (Sonatel, the PTT in Senegal that's partially owned by France Telecom), it was France Telecom that got suspicious. Balancing Act News goes on to point out the problems with bribery:
Based on their conclusion, it appears there is no viable way to do business with the state controlled Telcos in Africa:
Luckily, the mobile telecom industry in Africa is mostly private and increasingly competitive, with the result that mobile phone adoption is soaring in Africa. It would be nice to think the PTTs will be cleaned up, but in any event, the benefits of telecom are reaching African citizens via mobile phone services.