June 9 (Reuters) – The World Bank Group’s private investment arm and guarantee agency have pledged more support for the first private telecoms operator in Ethiopia, Safaricom Ethiopia.
In September investment arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it planned to inject up to $160 million in equity, but in a statement dated June 8 World Bank Group said that IFC’s equity investment would be $157 million and that it would also provide a $100 million loan.
The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency will provide 10-year guarantees of $1 billion to cover the equity investments of Safaricom Ethiopia’s shareholders: Vodafone Group, Vodacom, Safaricom and British International Investment.
“The investment and guarantees will help Safaricom Ethiopia roll out and operate 4G and 5G mobile networks across the country – including in rural and urban areas,” the statement said.
Safaricom Ethiopia launched its mobile network in October after winning an operating licence in May 2021.
Previously state-owned Ethio Telecom had a monopoly in Africa’s second-most populous country with a population of about 120 million people.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning Editing by David Goodman )