Washington, D.C., June 22, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $65 million loan and $10
million in equity to MTN Afghanistan to support the expansion of the company’s
mobile telephone network and meet the country’s growing demand for affordable
mobile phone services.
MTN Afghanistan is owned by MTN Dubai
Ltd, part of the South Africa-based MTN Group Ltd, a long time IFC partner.
It is the second-largest mobile telephone operator in Afghanistan with
more than 2.5 million subscribers. The expansion is aimed in particular
at low-income populations.
“MTN Group places high importance on
its operation in Afghanistan,” said James Ramadan, MTN Group’s Regional
Vice President for Middle East and North Africa. “We have invested significantly
in MTN Afghanistan and will continue to do so in the future. IFC is providing
long-term funding, which is a great vote of confidence for this frontier
market. It will enable us to serve the people of Afghanistan by enhancing
network coverage and expanding high-quality services to a greater number
Mohsen Khalil, IFC Director for Global
Information and Communication Technologies, said, "Mobile telecommunications
enable access to knowledge and services, innovation across sectors, and
more efficiency in the delivery of government and business services. We
hope that our investment will encourage other investors to support to support
the telecommunications sector, and more broadly, economic development and
growth in Afghanistan.”
IFC’s investment portfolio in Afghanistan
totals $95 million in five companies, including investments in two small
and microfinance institutions. IFC’s advisory activities complement its
investments through capacity-building initiatives with these two institutions,
and by helping the government establish regulatory frameworks for leasing
and housing-sector lending. IFC is also engaged in initiatives to enhance
the business skills of small and medium enterprises in agribusiness, and
to increase the capacity of financial institutions in microfinance and
small-enterprise lending and advising the Central Bank to establish credit
and collateral registries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about MTN Afghanistan,