Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Botswana - privatisation

Botswana: BTC On Line for Privatisation
see also IFC press release

The Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) has signed a contract agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to act as transactional advisors in the Privatisation of Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC).

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is set to advise on increasing private sector participation, reducing telecommunications charges and extending telephone coverage at BTC.

According to a press statement released by PEEPA at the weekend, the signing ceremony was attended by officials of PEEPA, BTC and Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.

Last year, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) approved a tender from the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology which sought to engage IFC to act as transactional advisors for the privatisation of BTC.

According to the statement, IFC is expected to work with PEEPA to secure a strategic equity partner that can invest and operate BTC. IFC is also tasked with introducing policy measures to liberalise the telecommunications industry. "The privatisation of the telecommunications provider is in line with Botswana's broader strategy to increase private sector participation in the economy," reads the statement.

PEEPA has hailed IFC as a leading corporate body with global experience in corporate finance and privatisation, as well as working successfully with governments to implement economic reforms, especially in the telecommunications sector.

It is predicted that IFC's involvement will help support further private sector participation in the country's telecommunication sector with the aim of advising government on the best strategy to attract private sector investment into the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation. The objective of involving the private sector is to transform BTC to become a modern and efficient service provider that can compete with other players in the newly liberalised Botswana telecommunications market.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilising private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments

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