The World Bank’s private investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Corpration plans to inject up to $ 160 million in equity into telecoms firm Safaricom Ethiopia to help fund its capital expenditure.
Safaricom Ethiopia, partly owned by Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom, started phased operations in August in the country’s Dire Dawa city and Haramaya this month.
Safaricom led a consortium that also includes South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone, which secured Ethiopia’s second operator licence in May 2021 for $ 850 million.“The proposed IFC transaction comprises an up to $160-million equity investment in the Company to help fund capex requirement,” IFC said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
“A separate debt package is also being discussed,” it added without giving more details.
The Safaricom consortium is financially backed by British development finance agency CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo.
Safaricom Ethiopia has said it planned to have its networkactive in 25 cities by April 2023
It will be a competitor to state-owned Ethio Telecom, whose proposed sale of a 40% stake as part of a broader government plan to open up the economy was put on hold in March