Mobile Operator Africell to Expand with IFC Backing


 

Over the past decade, IFC has invested more than $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. 


Africell is an emerging telecommunications operator with a fast-growing customer base. Since its launch in 2001, Africell has become the leading mobile network provider in The 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 $35 million in funding to Africell 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 Anikó Szigetvári, head of IFC's Telecommunications, Media and Technology Group for Africa and Latin America.

 

First Published: 9/29/2015