Safaricom Ethiopia has finalized a transaction with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), members of the World Bank Group which will see the company receive funding in the form of full equity investment, a loan and guarantees.
This investment aims to support the company’s ongoing “greenfield telecommunication network” construction and operation to drive connectivity across Ethiopia.
According to Safaricom’s Chief Business Development and Strategy Officer, Michael Mutiga, the package works to over $ 1.275 billion in total. “This represents the most significant transaction in the region for the World Bank with a private company,” he adds.
This significant investment will expedite the company’s ambitious plans to provide affordable internet and reliable connectivity across Ethiopia.
Since it entered into the previously closed telecoms market in Ethiopia, Safaricom as a part of a consortium that includes Vodafone, Vodacom, Sumitomo Corporation, and British International Investment (BII) has made significant progress in the country’s telecom space. In addition, The company recently received its M-PESA license to run financial services in the country.
“The progress Safaricom Ethiopia has achieved in such a short period is nothing short of remarkable. With the highly anticipated launch of M-PESA, we are excited to witness the profound impact it will have not only on the telecommunications landscape but also on improving financial inclusion for all people across Ethiopia.” Said Mohamed Gouled, Vice President of Industries at IFC.
Consequently, this transaction will have IFC hold a minority equity stake in the Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV with Safaricom retaining its majority stake.
Safaricom Ethiopia Chairman, Michael Joseph said, “With IFC coming on board as an equity partner, their experience in global operations and the stature of their investment brings a lot of praise and respect to the board. We look forward to their input in helping us make strides in the Ethiopian market.”