Spacetel Benin S.A.R.L.
MIGA has provided guarantees to Investcom Holding S.A., of Luxembourg, and to its wholly owned subsidiary, Investcom Global Ltd., of the British Virgin Islands (together referred to as Investcom), totaling $8.06 million, to cover their $9.9 million equity investment in, shareholder loan to, and loan guaranty benefiting Spacetel Benin S.A.R.L. (Spacetel). Investcom is owned by Lebanese investors. The coverages are for ten years for the equity investment and shareholder loan, and six years for the loan guaranty, and are against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
MIGA's support represents its first for a project in Benin. Spacetel is installing a new GSM mobile telephone network in the country, which suffers from a severe shortage of reliable telephone line—the teledensity level of 0.65 percent (1999) is among the lowest in the world. This project will help increase teledensity and improve connections, voice quality and clarity, and is expected to be particularly beneficial to the local business community. It is anticipated that the project will generate approximately $6.5 million in tax revenues for the government over the first five years of operation. The project is expected to provide employment to 54 people, who will benefit from extensive training in telecommunication operations, as well as marketing and sales skills; it will benefit local businesses through in-country procurement of various goods and services needed for its operations.