Moroni, Comoros, February 21, 2019 -
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced its first investment
in Comoros to Telecom Comores S.A., known as Telco SA. The €13 million
($15 million) loan has the potential to transform the mobile market in
one of the least developed telecom markets in Africa and globally. It
will support the introduction of competition in a previously monopolized
sector and help address the significant gap in connectivity and affordability.
“IFC financing will allow us to compete
by offering better services to industries that depend on reliable communications,
including financial technology,” said Stephane Teyssedre, Chief Executive
Officer of Telco SA.
For fragile and poor economies like Comoros,
high-quality voice and data services are critical for economic integration
with the East African region and export markets (including opening new
market opportunities), and for social integration between the islands of
Comoros, the sub-region, and with the large and active diaspora.
“Telco SA is a pioneering company that is
reducing the cost of mobile communication and broadband in the Comoros.
The new mobile broadband telecom infrastructure is a key component for
creating an enabling environment for doing business in Africa” said Aniko
Szigetvari, IFC Manager of Telecom, Media, and Technology.
The Telco SA infrastructure has the potential
to create an enabling platform for an array of digital technology services
in areas such as mobile money, e-health, e-agriculture and e-government.
The company is the second mobile network operator in Comoros, introducing
competition to the telecoms sector for the first time.
Telco SA provides nationwide wireless services
using 2G, 3G and 4G technology under a global and unified license. It’s
also the latest addition to IFC’s Telecommunications portfolio in emerging
markets, which includes, Millicom (Chad), GrameenPhone (Bangladesh), Telecom
Argentina (Argentina) and Otecel (Ecuador).
IFC supports the telecommunications sector
as infrastructure is critical for a digital economy, and to promote social
inclusion and business growth. Over the past three years, IFC has
invested over US$1.5 billion in telecommunication, technology, and startup
Supporting private sector growth in fragile
countries is also at the core of IFC’s strategy in Africa. Over
the past ten years, IFC has invested $3 billion in conflict-affected economies
on the continent.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank
and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution
focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works with
more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using its capital, expertise, and
influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of
the world. In fiscal year 2018, IFC delivered more than $23 billion
in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of
the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org