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President to push through 35% state ownership law for telcos?

21 Oct 2011

According to Reuters, citing a report by the APS news agency, the Senegalese government has proposed a new law that will ensure that the state has at least a 35% share in all telecoms companies operating in the country. The announcement was made on state television on Thursday evening, with President Abdoulaye Wade stating: ‘The summary of the proposed bill is that the state will have a minimum of 35% stake in all telecommunications companies’. However, it is unclear if the proposed law, which still needs to be adopted by parliament, will be retroactively applied to firms currently operating in the sector, or merely to new market entrants. No further details of the President’s plans were given.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in August Wade repeated his threat to renationalise Senegal’s national PTO Sonatel by buying out France Telecom’s (FT’s) 42.30% stake in the company. The government of Senegal currently owns 27.15% of the telco with the remaining 30.55% in the hands of employees and private individuals. During a meeting on the regulation of incoming international calls, Wade said that the government intended to resume its previously-stated plan of using US-based Global Voice to monitor incoming calls and to apply a tax that would generate XOF60 billion (USD133.6 million) a year in revenue for various projects.

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