• 18 March 2023
    Dhiraagu Signs the Second Facility Agreement with IFC and ADB to Fund SMW6 Submarine Cable Project

    Dhiraagu has signed the second facility agreement of $30 million with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund Dhiraagu’s investment in the SEA-ME-WE 6 (SMW6) Submarine Cable System.

    Dhiraagu’s investment in SMW6 will connect the Maldives to the global internet superhighway, further strengthening the digital infrastructure of the company and helping make the Maldives a global digital hub. It will also help reduce latency, improve quality, and reduce the cost of Dhiraagu’s internet services.
    The second facility brings the total funding from IFC and ADB to $55 million which will support Dhiraagu’s investment in digital infrastructure and strengthen connectivity across the Maldives.

    Last year, Dhiraagu signed the first facility agreement of $25 million, which supports Dhiraagu’s working capital and capital investment programme to meet the increasing data and broadband needs of customers by expanding 5G services, providing high-speed fibre broadband to more islands and supporting the company’s Domestic Submarine Cable expansion project.

    “We are delighted to sign this second facility with IFC and ADB which will support a critical investment for Dhiraagu, that will enable Maldives to be connected to the SMW6 global submarine cable system. As a member of the SMW6 consortium, and co-owner of the system, Dhiraagu will have access to multiple internet data centres along the SMW6 route from Europe to Singapore. This is a significant development in strengthening our international diversity, and improving digital connectivity across the Maldives, which fuels the socio-economic development of the nation. The collaboration with IFC and ADB has also given us an opportunity to strengthen our sustainability initiatives, and lead to a focussed strategy on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) which will contribute to accomplishing our mission of enriching lives and empowering digital communities,” stated Ismail Rasheed, CEO & MD at Dhiraagu.

    “Digital connectivity has enormous potential, specifically in connecting the unconnected, creating better and more opportunities for people. IFC’s latest investment in Dhiraagu will enable widespread, fast, and reliable connectivity across the Maldives, leading to inclusive business growth and improving quality of life for all,” stated Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives.

    “Having access to mobile and internet connectivity is essential for socioeconomic progress, especially for island nations like the Maldives where the population is widely dispersed. This assistance, marking ADB’s first private sector financing of an infrastructure project in the Maldives, will help enable the provision of less expensive, faster regional connectivity in the country,” stated Suzanne Gaboury, Director General of ADB Private Sector Operations Department.

    Dhiraagu is committed to develop the digital infrastructure necessary for our island communities to engage in the digital economy and boost our socio-economic development.

    About IFC
    IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works in more than 100 countries, using their capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org

    About ADB
    ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members – 49 from the region. For more information, visit http://www.adb.org

    About Dhiraagu
    Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Public Limited (Dhiraagu) was established in 1988 as the country’s sole telecommunication service provider in the Maldives. The two substantial shareholders of Dhiraagu are, Bahrain Telecommunications Company B.S.C (Batelco) holding 52% of the shares, and the Government of the Maldives holding 41.8% of the shares. The remaining 6.2% of shares are held by the general public of the Maldives.

    Dhiraagu is the leading digital and telecommunications service provider in the Maldives providing digital and telecommunications connectivity that enables customers to get ahead in the digital future. The company ushered the country into the digital age and continue to lead the field by placing the premium value on customer experience and consistent innovation. For more information, visit http://www.dhiraagu.com.mv

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