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Djibouti looks to open up telecoms with sale of 40% stake in Djibouti Telecom

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Djibouti , 05 Aug 2021

Djibouti has become the latest African country after Ethiopia to open up its telecommunications industry to competition after selling a 40% stake in the incumbent operator Djibouti Telecom and vowing to allow private operators to invest in the country.

The country has set September as the deadline for investors to express their interest to buy the 40% stake in Djibouti Telecom.

The government said the selected potential buyers will be contacted and invited to submit indicative offers.

While the time frame for the sale of the company has not yet been confirmed, government said it will be over by the first half of 2022.

Monopoly operator Djibouti Telecom has an established 2G network that covers 95% of the population, a 3G network covering 80% and a 4G network that covers 75%.

However, the government said the company must now prepare to face competition from new entrants as the ICT and telecommunications markets become liberalised.

Through the sale of the shares, the government said it “wants to optimise the operator’s performance adding that the selected investor in the company will benefit from a significant participation, allowing it to implement policies necessary achieving the objectives set for Djibouti Telecom.”

The country’s Economy and Finance Minister Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh said the sale of Djibouti Telecom is a first step towards opening up the country’s telecommunications industry and may include an offer of shares to the public.

Dawaleh was quoted by Bloomberg saying, “The capital raise is about strengthening the financial capacity of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Djibouti, and thus making strategic investments in sustainable infrastructure with a strong focus on job creation.”

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