Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have come to dominate every aspect of modern life, resulting in rapid growth in the telecommunications sector across the world, particularly mobile networks. According to data provided by the International Telecommunication Union, total mobile-cellular subscriptions reached almost six billion by the end of 2011, representing a global penetration of 86%. This growth was driven by the developing countries, which accounted for more than 80% of the 660 million new subscriptions that year.
For the developing countries especially, ICTs are proving to be strong enablers of economic growth, boosting employment and productivity across all sectors, and helping to overcome many of the infrastructure barriers characteristic of the developing world.
OFID’s contribution to telecommunications has thus grown steadily over the past decade, with financing totaling over US$135m going to mobile network operators in Africa and Asia between 2004 and 2012.
In 2012, OFID approved two private sector loans amounting to US$30m for the telecommunications sector: