The last three years have been marked by a profound restructuring. After being held to ransom by the country's authorities, who are not exactly known for their probity, the Nigerian subsidiary was separated from the group via an IPO on the Lagos market.

The same goes for the infrastructure activity, listed on the NYSE within a new entity, IHS Tower - in which the French company Wendel, for the record, holds 22% of the capital. The towers of the South African network have also been sold - to IHS, in fact - via a sale and leaseback agreement.

The next step for MTN is to separate itself from its mobile payments business, described by management as a "fintech". With 65 million users, this business could attract a lot of interest since the majority of the continent's population remains "unbanked".

Finally, MTN intends to consolidate its South African domestic market with the acquisition of Telkom, the country's third largest government-controlled operator. This would put it in a better position to challenge the national leader Vodacom.

Overall, the markets served by the group - in southern Africa, around the Gulf of Guinea, in Sudan and in Iran - remain exceptionally complex. MTN was even present in Afghanistan until it sold its operations there to Irancell.

The fact remains that the group is a heavyweight in African capitalism. This on a continent where, for the moment, the only two industries capable of absorbing foreign capital are telecoms and commodities.

MTN's ten-year financial performance - 2012-2022 - is quickly swept away: revenues decline from $14 billion to $12 billion (USD); operating margins remain around 30%, an average three times higher than European operators; after peaking in 2019, debt returns to a reasonable $5 billion.

The accounts are surprisingly easy to read, and the accounting results can be reconciled with the cash flows. In ten years - on a more or less constant basis - MTN has generated a total cash profit of $12 billion, or $1.2 billion per year. In the absence of growth, we welcome real stability.

This figure should be compared to the current enterprise value - market capitalization plus debt - of $17 billion, without forgetting to point out that this valuation multiple is within the historical average, that the dividend is a little too low, and that the risk of a depreciating rand hangs over the assets of foreign investors in South Africa.