The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing US$30 million in Wataniya Palestine, as part of a US$85 million loan, to help build a mobile-phone network in the Palestinian West Bank. Wataniya Palestine is a joint venture of the Palestine Investment Fund and Wataniya Telecom, which is majority-owned by Qatar’s Qtel.
"The network being built by Wataniya Palestine will use the internationally popular GSM standard. It will help address the Palestinian territories telecommunications needs, which are critical for supporting economic growth and integration. Wataniya Palestine’s entry into the sector will improve the current low tele-density, increase competition, and help accelerate market growth.
“IFC’s investment shows a vote of confidence in the economic prospects of the Palestinian territories telecommunications sector, which is an essential element of building the local economy, creating jobs, and offering customers new, high-quality products and services,” said Allan Richardson, Wataniya’s Chief Executive Officer.
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Source: Cellular News.
“Mobile telecommunications enable access to knowledge and services, innovation across sectors, and more efficiency in the delivery of government and business services,” said Mohsen Khalil, IFC Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies. “IFC is committed to promoting growth and opportunities in the Middle East by facilitating cross-border investments and transfer of capital across the region.”
IFC previously joined forces with Wataniya Telecom on an investment to expand mobile telecommunications in Maldives. In the past year, IFC has also supported Palestinian banks in housing finance, student loans, and trade finance.