Airtel, IFC sign $194 million facility to connect millions of Africans to fast internet
Airtel Africa Plc has announced the signing of a $194 million credit facility with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
A corporate disclosure seen by Nairametrics said the new financing facility aligns with Airtel Africa’s strategy to increase debt within its operating companies.
The facility has a tenor of eight years and will be used to support the telecom firm’s operations and investments in some of the African markets it operates. The markets are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of Congo and Zambia.
Supports Airtel’s ESG: Commenting on the development, Airtel Africa Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, said the $194 million credit facility aligns with the company’s determination to meet its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments. He said:
- “I am very excited to announce the signing of this new facility with IFC. Not only does it align with our focus on improving our balance sheet through localising debt within our OpCos, but as we make progress on our sustainability journey it also supports our commitments and ability to meet strong ESG criteria. I look forward to working closely with IFC in the coming years as we explore further opportunities to support the economies and communities where we operate.”
The IFC’s Vice President for Africa, Sérgio Pimenta, also commented on the deal saying that the deal will help more people to connect to affordable high-speed internet. He said:
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- “The COVID-19 pandemic has made mobile connectivity even more urgent for both social and economic development. Helping more people connect to affordable and fast internet networks is a priority for IFC in Africa, especially in the continent’s lower-income countries. The partnership with Airtel Africa will help achieve this.”
Airtel’s ESG commitments: Airtel Africa said it has committed to complying with the applicable requirements of IFC’s Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and has put in place a dedicated Environmental and Social Action plan.
- The development is expected to further underpin the Group’s commitment to transforming lives across 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 framework of four sustainability pillars: Our Business, Our People, Our Community, and Our Environment.
- According to the Group, its sustainability targets are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and are designed to deliver a real and positive impact.
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