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IFC Invests in Africell to Expand Telecommunications in Africa

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced that it will invest $35 million in telecom operator, Africell, to support the expansion and upgrade of mobile networks in Gambia, the DRC, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Africell is an emerging telecommunications operator, with a customer base in some of Africa's most challenging markets. Since its launch in 2001, Africell has become the leading mobile network provider in 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 investment 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 said IFC's Anikó Szigetvári, Head, Africa and Latin American TMT Group.

During the last 10 years, IFC has invested over $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.

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Tags: africell  Gambia  Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The  Sierra Leone  Uganda