IFC invests US$35mn in Africell

Hand Holding Mobile Phone - IBM Research - FlickrAfricell will use the investment to expand its coverage and services. (Image source: IBM Research/Flickr)International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member, has announced that it will invest US$35mn in African telecom operator, Africell

The investment will support Africell’s expansion and upgrade of mobile networks in Gambia, DR Congo, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The company is a telecommunications operator that was launched in 2001. It is currently the leading mobile network provider in Gambia and Sierra Leone, and is expanding in DR Congo and Uganda. The new financing will enable Africell to expand and upgrade its coverage and services.

Ziad Dalloul, CEO of Africell, said, “Africell is at the forefront of mobile expansion in Africa and aims to become one of the leading telecom players in the continent. Our partnership with IFC and other international financing organisations is another milestone in Africell’s endeavour to further its social and development role in the markets it operates.”

The investment from IFC is part of a syndicated loan of US$150mn, 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.

“IFC’s investment in Africell supports a fast-growing company, which is committed to providing high quality, affordable mobile services to African consumers,” said Anikó Szigetvári, head of Africa and Latin American TMT Group at IFC.

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.

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