Orange Telecom Project in Liberia
On September 8, 2023, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group issued a guarantee totaling US$81 million to Orange Cote d’Ivoire Participations to cover its equity investment (including future retained earnings) for the telecom operations and expansion of such operations by Orange Liberia, Inc (the “Project Company”, formerly known as Cellcom Inc), including the construction of telecom towers, installation of fiber optic cable (“FOC”), and provision of telecom services and mobile finance services. The MIGA guarantee will cover the risks of Expropriation and War and Civil Disturbance for a period of up to 8 years.
The project is expected to use IDA Private Sector Window (“PSW”)/MIGA Guarantee Facility (“MGF”) to mitigate the risks associated with the guarantee. After completion, the project will increase access to and improve quality of telecom services, expand mobile money services and increase income opportunities for underserved communities in Liberia.
The Project is aligned with the World Bank Group’s (“WBG’s”) Country Partnership Framework (“CPF”) for Liberia particularly in relation to increasing the ICT penetration by expanding access to internet services and the digital economy, and Liberia ICT Policy (2019-2024) that seeks to support economic and social development through fully integrated information and communication technology and ensure total social inclusion for all Liberians.
The Project is expected to generate the following main development impacts: (i) increased consumer access and improved quality of telecom services in Liberia via construction of telecom towers and installation of FOC network; (ii) expansion of mobile money services in the country, which will improve access to finance; (iii) increased income opportunities for underserved communities (particularly in rural areas) due to enhanced access to markets, information and finance; and (iv) generation of gender benefits via the client’s Gender Action Plan. In addition, the project is expected to be aligned with the mitigation and adaptation & resilience goals of the Paris Agreement.