ADDIS ABABA – Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc and the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, concluded an agreement allowing the latter to invest in the telecom company.
IFC Vice President of Industries Mohamed Gouled was in Addis Ababa accompanying the World Bank Group chief Ajay Banga on his trip to Ethiopia last week.
Today, Safaricom Ethiopia has announced that it hosted IFC VP Gouled “for the formal closing of IFC’s investment” during his stay in Addis Ababa.
“This marks a significant milestone in our journey as it unlocks the much-needed funds that will fuel the ongoing expansion of our network across Ethiopia,” the telco said.
The two sides formally closed the deal two months after the IFC agreed to make a $157.4 million equity investment in Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV (GPE) and a $100 million A-loan to its subsidiary, Safaricom Ethiopia Plc.
Gouled said, “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.”
The investment backs Safaricom Ethiopia’s bid to roll out and operate 4G and 5G mobile networks across the country as well as launch the M-PESA financial services this year.
Safaricom Ethiopia Chairman Michael Joseph said, “With IFC coming on board as an equity partner, they’re 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 this market.”
Safaricom was awarded a license to operate in Ethiopia for 850 million US Dollars spectrum fees and it disclosed that it will have a total of USD 8.5 billion investment in the coming ten years.