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Telecom link financing sought

Nairobi, July 3, 2007

Kenya invited private east African telecoms operators to raise 6.0 billion shillings ($90.61 million) as partners in a submarine fibre-optic link project between its coast and the UAE.

The east African country has already set aside one billion shillings for the $100 million project known as The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) in which Etisalat will also have a shareholding.

'While the TEAMS project is a government initiative, its ownership, implementation and management shall be on a private-public sector partnership arrangement,' the Communications Commission of Kenya said in a statement.

Kenya hopes institutions and individuals from the East African Community would join the initiative. Other members of the trading bloc are Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

The statement said the government would give priority to licensed operators interested in participating in the project and that it would raise any balance through debt financing.

Kenya is impatient to latch on to the lucrative international call centre and outsourcing businesses and hopes that the undersea telecoms link will reduce the cost of accessing the Internet and making telephone calls.

The country pays an exorbitant $7,500 per megabyte to access the services through satellite connections, compared to the $500 that India, an outsourcing hub, pays.Reuters




Tags: Etisalat | Kenya | The East African Marine Systems | Teams |

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