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Tunisia’s IT privatization quandary

February 16, 2011 • Mobile and Telecoms

A revolution came to Tunisia, ousted a president and installed a new government. Now, a few weeks on from that momentous moment in Tunisian history, the information technology sector is going through a number of changes. Many believed it would be the beginning of a never-before-seen privatization effort  in the country, but those hopes have been dashed in recent weeks as the country struggles to get back on its feet.

Following the events that took place recently in Tunisie Telecom, which saw the company not be listed on IPOs at the request of the new government, and concerning the dismissal of high skills of the operator, the National Chamber of SSII, INFOTICA, expresses its concern about the direct impact of this situation on the continuity of network services and quality of services offered to clients of Tunisie Telecom.

The chamber said that thousands of jobs in Tunisian and international companies using networks of the operator are thus at risk in case of a deterioration in the stability of the network of Tunisie Telecom.

This situation is also likely to divert present or potential foreign investors from Tunisia. However, despite the negatives being reported, a number of analysts believe optimism is in the air for Tunisia.

“We are definitely moving forward. It is not going to be always smooth like people want, but the idea and goal is to make things progress,” said Ibrahim Tarek, a Tunisie Telecom official, who says that TT will “eventually make its way toward privatization and better service for the country’s customers.”

Time will tell, but for now, the uncertainty should not be viewed with negativism, says Tarek.

“We have struggled through a revolution, people should give us a break to get back on our feet,” he added.

By Jonathan Terry

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