IFC invests in AXIAN Telecom to capitalise on Africa’s mobile growth
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has subscribed to 12% of a maiden bond (equivalent to US$50-million) introduced by AXIAN Telecom.
IFC is an anchor investor with a total issuance of US$420-million.
AXIAN operates in eight African markets including Madagascar, Mauritius, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda, and provides mobile network services, digital infrastructure and mobile financial services.
The bond will finance the company’s existing debt and support its digital infrastructure network expansion, particularly in Tanzania and Togo.
By scaling up its digital infrastructure, AXIAN Telecom is expected to continue to promote Africa’s growing digital economy and digital finance by bringing accessibility, reliable and secure digital services in markets where access to affordable, quality mobile connectivity remains a challenge.
According to IFC it has, since 2019, supported digital infrastructure and other infrastructure companies with public bond issuance totalling over US$3-billion with over US$5-million IFC owned funds and by gathering an additional US$2-billion in capital.
The financial organisation the surge demand for digital connectivity during COVID-19 has intensified its commitment to the telecommunications, media and technology industries in emerging markets to exceed US$1-billion in value in the fiscal year ending June 2021.
Hassanein Hiridjee, AXIAN Telecom’s founder and chairman of the board said, “IFC’s anchor investment will help us fulfil our ambition to be an end-to-end partner in Africa’s digital transformation journey and to secure their affordable digital infrastructure and services.”
Makhtar Diop, IFC managing director said, “With internet access in Africa largely relying on mobile networks, providing affordable and reliable mobile connectivity is an important way to bridge the divide. IFC’s investment in AXIAN Telecom’s bond is consistent with the World Bank Group’s effort to establish a more competitive and reliable telecommunications sector as part of the Digital Economy Initiative for Africa (DE4A), which aims to support the Africa Union (AU) digital transformation strategy for Africa.”