More Africa NewsIFC offers $194 million to Airtel Africa to support its investment efforts in seven markets on the continent

March 21, 2022by myles0

Over the past five years, competition has increased in the telecommunications sector in Africa. Airtel Africa, which recognizes declining markets, is multiplying actions to regain competitiveness. 

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a branch of the World Bank focused on financing the private sector in emerging countries, is proposing to invest $194 million in the form of a loan in Airtel Africa Plc. The investment unveiled on Thursday March 17 aims to support the investment needs of the African branch of the Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel in seven markets: Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, the Republic of the Congo and Zambia.

The $194 million the IFC is offering to Airtel Africa includes $150 million from equity and $44 million raised through its Managed Co-financing Portfolio Program (MCPP).

If approved, this financial support will be added to the financing operations carried out since by the telecom company since 2021 to raise capital intended to finance its activities and reduce its debt. This resulted in particular in the opening of the capital of Airtel Money, its mobile payment branch, to several players for $500 million and the sale of telecom tower assets in several countries.

The IFC believes that the financing “  is expected to increase access to quality mobile connectivity through the expansion of mobile broadband network capacity and coverage in target countries […] These results could lead to a increased GDP and employment growth in target countries by promoting efficiency, innovation and inclusion in their economies  ”.

According to the financial institution, Airtel Africa’s investment in the networks of the seven countries ”  is also expected to increase the overall competitiveness of the mobile market by financing and thus enabling more technological innovations or the improvement of the financial accessibility of high-speed mobile Internet  ”.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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