Airtel Africa and IFC partner to connect millions of people in Africa

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Airtel Africa has announced the signing of a new $194 million credit facility with the International Finance Corporation (‘IFC’), a sister organization of the World Bank and a member of the World Bank Group.

The new financing line is in line with Airtel’s strategy in Africa to increase debt within its operating companies.

The facility has an eight-year term and will be used to support Airtel Africa’s operations and investments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, the Republic of the Congo and Zambia, providing more diversified access to local financing.

As part of IFC’s loan facility, Airtel Africa has committed to meeting the applicable requirements of the IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability and has put in place a specific Environmental and Social Action Plan. This will further reinforce the Group’s commitment to transform lives in the communities in which Airtel operates and provide clarity on how the Group can help address inequality and support economic growth in these communities.

Airtel Africa’s Sustainability Strategy was launched in October 2021 and set out the Group’s ambitious sustainability targets and long-term goals. It is supported by a four-pillar framework of sustainability: our business, our people, our community and our environment. The Group’s sustainability objectives are aligned with the United Nations sustainable development goals and are designed to generate a real and positive impact. Airtel Africa’s inaugural Sustainability Report was released in October 2022 and details the Group’s performance to date and progress made towards achieving set goals and targets.

According to Ogunsanya, CEO, said: “I am very excited to announce the signing of this new facility with IFC. Not only does it align with our focus of improving our balance sheet through debt localization within our OpCos, but as we move on our sustainability journey, it also supports our commitments and ability to meet robust criteria. IS G. I look forward to working closely with IFC in the coming years as we explore new opportunities to support the economies and communities where we operate.”

Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made mobile connectivity even more urgent for social and economic development. Helping more people connect to fast, affordable Internet networks is a priority for IFC in Africa, especially in low-income countries on the continent. The partnership with Airtel Africa will help achieve this.”

The IFC loan is backed by co-financing from institutional investors through IFC’s Managed Co-Loan Portfolio Program (MCPP). IFC’s loan in Zambia is supported by the International Development Association (IDA) Private Sector Window Local Currency Facility.

IFC’s digital strategy in Africa aims to enable ubiquitous, reliable and affordable connectivity.

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