June 20, 2024

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Safaricom Ethiopia

Safaricom Ethiopia Seeks Additional $350 Million Loan from IFC

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Safaricom Ethiopia, a telecommunications company, is asking the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for a new loan of $350 million. This money will help Safaricom Ethiopia expand its phone and mobile money services in the country.

Last month, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia announced that it aims to triple its telecom tower network in the next three years by investing over $1.5 billion to improve coverage across the country. CEO of Safaricom, Wim Vanhelleputte, said that currently, 2500 towers are operating with 1,000 leased from Ethio Telecom.

The IFC, which provides financing to private companies, has already given Safaricom Ethiopia a loan of $157.4 million and bought shares worth $100 million. By buying these shares, the IFC now owns 7.25% of Safaricom Ethiopia.

Now, the IFC plans to give Safaricom Ethiopia more money by adding $350 million to the existing loan and investment. If the new loan is approved, the total amount of money the IFC and its partners have given to Safaricom Ethiopia will reach $607.4 million.

“IFC’s further proposed loan of up to $350 million will support STEP (Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Private Limited Company) with the ongoing expansion of its telecommunication network and mobile money services and enhance the competitiveness of the local telecommunications market,” the lender said in the disclosures.
IFC said the initial investments “have had satisfactory environmental and social performance.”

At the start of this month, it was announced by the company that Safaricom Ethiopia suffered a loss of Ksh42.09 Billion in the year ending March 2024. Safaricom invested US$850 million in Ethiopia in 2021 to start its operations in the Ethiopian telecom sector.