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

PUBLISHED March 19, 2023 | updated March 19, 2023 06:00

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.


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