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Privatization of Comoros Telecom: Users of ICT is Sounding Alarm

The Consumers' Association of Information Technology and Communications (ACTIC) said it was "firmly opposed" to the privatization process of Comoros Telecom, the public telecommunications operator, at a press conference in Moroni.

  Source Business Mega
  Reference http://business.mega.mu/2012/08/03/privatization-comoros-telecom-users-ict-sounding-alarm/

The association argues for a wide consultation around the issue, which needs to integrate all public, private and civil society. "It is abnormal on an important subject that engages current and future generations, even the people's elected representatives being consulted," Hamidou Mhoma was outraged, the president of the ACTIC. "The government through the cell of economic and financial reforms (Cref), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund should not forfeit the debate. We are sounding the alarm that this is not the way the process should be undertaken, "he said.

"Performance criteria"

We must remember that the privatization process under way is one of many objectives of the three-year agreement called Extended Credit Facility, signed in June 2009 between the Comoros and the International Monetary Fund. The withdrawal of the state in managing Comoros Telecom is part of "performance criteria", which are subject to the Comoros accession to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative of the IMF and the obliteration of its foreign debt. The roadmap, recently updated, this process provides for the sale of the public operator to a "strategic partner", who must hold 51% stake, in the first quarter of 2013.

The combination of advance users as a prerequisite to any attempt at privatization, openness and market liberalization in the telecommunications sector with the key to selling a second telephone license. It would, says ACTIC in a statement, likely to bring more money to the State that the sale of 51% stake in Telecom Comoros, but also create new jobs and lead to improved quality of service and lower prices in a competitive market. We remember that the second license in the telecommunications sector in Comoros has been removed cgh Group after nearly five years of non-operating.

"Fire sales of family jewels"

According ACTIC, the ongoing privatization equals a "sellout family jewels", while "the bulk of investment in telecommunications infrastructure is already done." Today would privatize among others, to offer the buyer on a silver platter a situation of rent. Indeed, it is relevant to note that the incumbent operator, which already operates the wired PSTN networks, Mobile, Cda, internet and ADSL, has invested about 24 billion francs to connect to the submarine cable network in optical fiber " Eassy ", and this year expects to mobilize around 3.9 billion francs of funds in the acquisition of third generation technology Mobile Network (3G).

Finally, another important aspect of this issue is the social aspect. The ACTIC Comoros Telecom warns that privatization will result in the dismissal of eight hundred employees about 1,145 agents that account this companion.

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