Kinshasa, DRC, July 23, 2015— IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest $35
million in telecom operator, Africell, to support the expansion and upgrade
of mobile networks in Gambia, the DRC, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Africell is an emerging telecommunications
operator, with a customer base in some of Africa’s most challenging markets.
Since its launch in 2001, Africell has become the leading mobile network
provider in Gambia and in Sierra Leone, and is expanding rapidly in the
Democratic Republic of Congo and in Uganda. The new financing will enable
Africell to expand its coverage and services.
IFC’s investment is part of a syndicated loan of $150 million, arranged
by Deutsche Bank and supported by the Public Investment Corporation SOC
acting on behalf of Government Employees Pension Fund, Banque Libano Francaise,
EcoBank RDC and other investors.
“Africell is at the forefront of the mobile
expansion in Africa and aims to become one of the leading telecom players
in the continent”, said Ziad Dalloul, Africell’s Chairman and CEO. “Our
partnership with IFC and other international financing organizations is
another milestone in Africell’s endeavor to further its social and development
role in the markets it operates.”
“In developing countries, access to telecommunications
can help boost productivity, improve the delivery of basic services and
encourage transparency and accountability. IFC’s investment in Africell
supports a fast-growing company which is committed to providing high quality,
affordable mobile services to African consumers”, said said IFC’s Anikó
Szigetvári, Head, Africa and Latin American TMT Group.
During the last 10 years, IFC has invested
over $1 billion in 37 mobile phone projects spanning 15 countries in Africa.
IFC’s current investment focus in Africa’s telecommunication sector is
aimed at improving the availability and reliability of affordable communications
services, supporting the adoption of new communication technologies, and
promoting technology-enabled innovation and entrepreneurship.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use
our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion
in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most
urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org