Ivory Coast telecoms possibly a criminal act


A fire last month that gutted a French telecoms group Orange facility in Ivory Coast, disrupting service for weeks, appears to have been the result of a criminal act, the communications minister said.

The fire broke out on April 30 at a technical centre in the commercial capital Abidjan’s central Plateau district.
“The investigation is moving forward with police,” said Bruno Kone. “This is what the initial elements of the investigation seem to indicate.”

Mobile phone networks, internet access and landlines were knocked out across much of Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy and a regional banking and business hub.

Orange launched emergency repair work immediately after the incident occurred, but more than two weeks later some network disruptions persist.

The French company is Ivory Coast’s mobile telecommunications leader with more than 13 million subscribers. It also holds a majority stake in the country’s national telephone company.

Its competitors in the wireless sector include South Africa’s MTN and Maroc Telecom-owned Moov.