Djibouti approves draft law re transfer of Djibouti Telecom shares

08 October 2021

The Republic of Djibouti has approved a draft law defining the terms and conditions for the total or partial transfers of shares in state-owned capital in public enterprises.

During the Council of Ministers meeting July 11, the government announced the share capital opening of the historical national operator to private investors.

The state will offer a minority and significant portion of its shareholding to a first-rate strategic partner.

This opening of Djibouti Telecom’s share capital a sign of the government’s determination to implement a proactive policy to modernise the country’s economy, increase global competitiveness, and optimize the governance and management of state-owned enterprises (SOE), it said.

The Republic of Djibouti will commission international advisors to conduct the transaction.

For 20 years, the country has been implementing an ambitious development agenda and has established itself as a key logistics and services gateway between Asia, Africa and Europe. Djibouti Telecom is strategically positioned to connect the region, the continent and the rest of the world. It has state-of-the-art telecom assets (including the implementation of a 4G network) as well as a very important landing infrastructure of twelve high-capacity submarine cables (AAE-1, SMW5, Dare 1).

It is hoped the transaction should also result in direct positive consequences for Djiboutian citizens and businesses: optimisation of the operator’s offer and services, access to voice and data services at the best international standards, among others. This project is also in line with Djibouti’s desire to rapidly develop an entire ecosystem linked to the digital economy, of which Djibouti Telecom would be one of the major players.

During the Council of Ministers meeting, the country’s president Ismaïl Omar Guelleh stressed the urgency “to accelerate the pace of reforms concerning public sector companies, to better cope with international and regional competition, and to ensure that these companies participate fully in the national effort of emergence and development financing”.

The Djiboutian state will remain a majority shareholder, committed to the company. It will also propose clear and ambitious specifications to the private partner.