Sierra Leone’s House of Parliament has approved the privatisation of fixed line incumbent Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel), in a bid to encourage investment in the country, Awareness Times reports. The privatisation will be overseen by the National Commission for Privatisation. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that state-owned Sierratel has held a monopoly on the country’s wireline market since it was formed in 1995 by the merger of the Sierra Leone National Telecommunications Company (SLNTC) and Sierra Leone External Telecommunications (SLET), although the government has discussed ending the incumbent’s monopoly on the international gateway when Sierra Leone launches its connection to Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable system. In May 2012 Lebanon-based Management and Development International Co. (MDIC) won a three-year management contract to take over the day-to-day running of the telco in an effort to revitalise its operations.
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