Algeria’s government moved to lift sanctions imposed on Djezzy GSM, the Algerian branch of Orascom Telecom, allowing it to begin purchasing and importing new technology and equipment, in addition to granting it the right to convert its profits, according to Algerian newspaper Al-Fajr.
The decision was made after the intervention of Prime Minister Abd Al-Malek Salal, who received a total of 10 reports from different state bodies analysing the situation.
Banque D’Algerie and the country’s finance minister over the last three years sent a total of 10 official reports to the prime minister and the office of the president of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, requesting that sanctions on DJezzy GSM be lifted, and that the country’s judiciary allow the company to begin importing and purchasing new equipment and converting its profits.
The ruling acknowledged the transfer ownership of the company, of which the Algerian government currently owns 51%, and the changing of its name to Optimum Telecom Algeria as opposed to Orascom Telecom Algeria.
The decision was officially reached three years ago, and will be brought before company officials within the coming weeks.
The move will allow the company to operate in the market alongside other telecommunications corporations, and allow them to purchase and new third generation mobile technology.
According to the statements recently sent to the Prime Minister, it was stated that, “the decision to impose sanctions on Djezzy GSM came amid violations committed by the company under its previous owner. These included the sale of a cement factory, and an iron factory, to the French company LaFarge, in addition to that of one of the company’s mobile branches, without first bringing the issue before the Algerian government. However with the transfer of ownership of the company, it was decided that sanctions would be lifted.”
According to another report, it was stated that, “a company operating with 18 million users should not be prevented from obtaining the necessary mobile phone technology needed to compete in a free market. Djezzy GSM will soon be allowed to convert its profits in accordance state law like any other corporation operating in the country”.