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Safaricom Ethiopia closes funding transaction from World Bank’s investment arms


Safaricom Ethiopia is set to receive funds from the World Bank Group, following the closure of the transaction during a funding ceremony held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The World Bank Group through its private investment arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) will issue the funding in the form of full equity investment, a loan and guarantees.

The funding is expected to support Safaricom’s ongoing construction and operation of their greenfield telecommunications network to drive digital connectivity across Ethiopia.

“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 Mr Mohamed Gouled, Vice President of Industries at IFC.

Following the closure of this transaction, IFC will hold a minority equity stake in the Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV (GPE), while Safaricom PLC remains the majority shareholder. The other members of the consortium include Vodafone, Vodacom, Sumitomo Corporation, and British International Investment (BII).

“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.” Said Mr Michael Joseph, Safaricom Ethiopia Chairman.

IFC had in June 2023 announced that it would make a $157.4 million equity investment in Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV (GPE) and a $100 million A-loan to its wholly owned subsidiary, Safaricom Ethiopia. 

This significant investment will expedite the company’s ambitious plans to roll out and operate 4G and 5G mobile networks across Ethiopia, which is Africa’s second most populous country. Furthermore, under a license granted in May 2023 by the Central Bank of Ethiopia, Safaricom Ethiopia also plans to launch M-Pesa in the country this year. 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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