President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer © European Parliament
President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer © European Parliament

Tunisie Telecom secures loan

Tunisian telecom operator Tunisie Telecom has negotiated a financing agreement for €100m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop its network infrastructure.

The deal was signed by Nizar Bouguila, CEO of the telecom operator, and president of the EIB Werner Hoyer at an official ceremony in Tunisia.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hoyer said: “In view of the challenges currently facing Tunisia, it is our responsibility to act rapidly and decisively to restore the confidence of public and private investors.

“This is why we have decided to step up substantially our activity in Tunisia from now until 2020, with an overall investment of €2.5bn to support the public and private sector in key sectors of the Tunisian economy such as private entrepreneurship, sustainable infrastructure, social housing, energy, education and training of young people and also foreign direct investment and innovation.

“In this way, we are providing fresh stimuli to investment and job creation and opening up new opportunities.”

Bouguila added: “We plan to use EIB’s loan to develop our landline and mobile high-speed networks by establishing 1,500 4G stations across the nation, and laying 2,000km of fibre optic cable.

“Part of the financing will be used to modernise … the national transport network, through the establishment of 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps links. The metropolitan collection network will also be upgraded by implementing, for the first time, the C-WDW technology to meet the growing demand for high-speed networks.”

This project is supported by ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’ – large projects, with the financial backing of the EU under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and is the first one outside of Africa.