A private sector lease agreement for $7.6 million was recently signed today between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development and the Sudan Telecommunications Company (Sudatel), one of the leading private sector companies in the country.
Sudatel provides fixed-line services throughout the Sudan and has recently launched a major capital expansion program involving the installation of some 5,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable, the transition from analogue to digital services, and the introduction of digital satellite networks. Proceeds from the lease will assist Sudatel with the procurement of digital telecommunications equipment in order to support their capital expansion program. Ensuring access to national and international communications networks is expected to contribute significantly to overall economic growth.
This agreement represents the OPEC Fund’s third private sector operation in the Sudan. Assistance totaling $140 million has also been approved to the public sector in the form of balance of payments support, commodity imports programs and project loans in the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors.
The country has also benefited from Fund grants directed at a diverse range of projects and programs, from the construction of primary schools and rural water supply and sanitation schemes, to health care improvement, research studies and emergency assistance.
In addition, the Fund has helped the Sudan cover its subscription to the Common Fund for Commodities, the Amsterdam-based international organization aimed at achieving stable conditions in commodity trade. In November 2000, an agreement for the encouragement and protection of investment was entered into between the Fund and the Government of the Sudan. — (menareport.com)
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