Airtel Africa took out a series of loans from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) totalling $194 million, cash set to be allocated to backing availability of affordable mobile broadband in six of its markets.
The cash is being made available in local currencies to the operator group’s subsidiaries in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of Congo and Zambia.
As part of the deal, Airtel Africa has to meet a variety of terms related to sustainable business practices, with the operator submitting a dedicated environmental and social action plan.
Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya said the facility met with a strategy of taking out localised debt in its operating companies and also “supports our commitment and our ability to meet very strict environmental, social, governance criteria in demonstration of the continued execution of our sustainability journey”.
Ogunsanya added the company planned to work closely with the IFC moving forward on other collaborations.
The IFC’s digital strategy in Africa is focused on supplying finance to companies focused on infrastructure such as independent tower companies and supporting mobile operators, primarily in countries the organisation describes as in “fragile and conflict situations” alongside nations deemed as low income.