Djibouti has set a six-week deadline for bidders to express an interest in purchasing a 40% stake in the country’s incumbent fixed and mobile operator Djibouti Telecom. In documents published late last week, the government set a deadline of 16 September 2021 for expressions of interest (EoI), but also warned would-be suitors that it is not averse to introducing competition in the near future. Capacity Media cites the statement from the government which read: ‘The state of Djibouti does not consider the monopoly as an intangible dogma … In the context of a development that has been experienced by the vast majority of African and emerging countries, the company must prepare to face competition from new entrants and the liberalisation of the sector, particularly in the cell phone sector.’
No further details on the sale process were disclosed, but the government did confirm that ‘selected potential buyers’ will be approached and invited to submit ‘indicative offers’. If all goes to plan, the authorities hope to conclude the sale of a 40% stake in the PTO in 1H22.
One of the last monopolies on the African continent, Djibouti Telecom offers wireless, broadband and fixed voice telephony services to around one million Djiboutians, while the country is also home to a host of submarine cables lying as it does at a key strategic location on the Horn of Africa. The government believes its national telco offers a great opportunity for strategic investors and pointed to potential expansion into mobile money services and data centres as future revenue streams.