The demand for broadband connectivity is growing in Africa. Atlas Tower Kenya wants to provide Kenyan telecom operators with the capabilities they need to respond effectively to this demand. The company has applied for IFC financing for this purpose.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a branch of the World Bank Group focused on financing the private sector in emerging countries, announced that it has invested USD 25 million in the form of a loan in Atlas Tower Kenya (ATK), an independent provider of wireless infrastructure. The investment made on Thursday, April 7, aims to support the project to build 450 freestanding telecommunications towers across Kenya over the next two to three years. The total cost of the project is estimated at 48.9 million USD.
Funds invested in Atlas Tower Kenya include $14 million from IFC’s own funds and $11 million mobilized through its Managed Cofinancing Portfolio Program (MCPP).
“We are happy to count IFC among our valued partners in Kenya. Together, we will improve the quality, security and accessibility of communications infrastructure in the country. We recently added our 200th tower in Kenya and now we can expect IFC to help us reach the 500th tower ,” said Nathan Foster, Founder and CEO of Atlas Tower Group. ATK will be able to lease space to mobile network operators and other digital service providers on its new towers, which will help them extend their coverage to underserved areas of Kenya.
The IFC estimates that the investment will meet the requirements for densification of 4G coverage and relieve congestion at macro-sites in Kenya. For operators, this partnership should make it possible not only to extend their network coverage and reach new customers, but also to reduce operating costs thanks to the sharing of infrastructures. This would also reduce costs for consumers.