Dakar, Senegal, February 9, 2022—To scale up access to quality mobile connectivity for millions of individuals and businesses across Africa and to further support the continent’s digital economy, IFC today invested in a maiden bond issuance by AXIAN Telecom.
The bond, the first issued by AXIAN Telecom, will refinance the company’s existing debt and support its digital infrastructure network expansion, primarily in Tanzania and Togo.
By scaling up its digital infrastructure, AXIAN Telecom will continue to promote Africa’s growing digital economy and digital finance by bringing accessible, reliable and secure digital services in markets where access to affordable, quality mobile connectivity remains challenging.
IFC subscribed to 12 percent of the bond (equivalent to $50 million) as an anchor investor in a total issuance of $420 million.
“IFC’s anchor investment will help us fulfill our ambition to be an end-to-end partner in Africans’ digital transformation journey and to secure their affordable access to digital infrastructure and services,” said Hassanein Hiridjee, AXIAN Telecom’s Founder and Chairman of the board.
“With internet access in Africa largely relying on mobile networks, providing affordable and reliable mobile connectivity is an important way to bridge the digital divide,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s managing director. “IFC’s investment in AXIAN Telecom’s bond is consistent with the World Bank Group’s efforts to establish a more competitive and reliable telecommunications sector as part of the Digital Economy Initiative for Africa (DE4A), which aims to support the African Union (AU) digital transformation strategy for Africa.”
African countries, on average, spend about 1.1 percent of GDP annually on investments in digital transformation, including digital infrastructure, compared to 3.2 percent for developed countries.
Capital markets are critical for filling the infrastructure investment gap in emerging and developing markets. Since 2019, IFC has supported digital infrastructure and other infrastructure companies with public bond issuances totaling over US$3 billion with more than US$500 million of IFC’s own funds and by mobilizing an additional US$2 billion in capital.
AXIAN Telecom represents IFC’s second recent bond investment in Africa’s digital economy. This investment follows IFC’s participation in a bond issued by Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Africa’s largest independent fiber, data center and cloud technology provider. IFC is also an active investor globally in green and sustainability-linked bonds including Continuum Green Energy’s first green bond and IFC’s first sustainability-linked bond investment with Sembcorp.
Surging demand for digital connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic led IFC’s commitments to the telecoms, media and technology sector in emerging markets to exceed US$1 billion in the fiscal year ending June 2021. Almost three-quarters of the commitments were made in Africa.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record US$31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About AXIAN Telecom
AXIAN Telecom is a pan-African telecommunications services provider operating in eight markets through its subsidiaries in Tanzania, Madagascar, Togo, Mauritius and Uganda, and joint ventures in Senegal, Réunion-Mayotte, and Comoros. It operates across three key business segments, providing mobile network services as well as digital infrastructure and mobile financial services. AXIAN Telecom serves around 33 million mobile customers via its subsidiaries and is a market disruptor, having expanded from being a single market player (Madagascar) until 2015 to eight markets today, through active acquisitions and heavy network investments. AXIAN Telecom systematically ensures that its activities have a lasting and positive impact on the daily lives of millions of people.
Find more about AXIAN Telecom: https://www.axian-telecom.com
Tel: + 1 202 967 8969
For AXIAN Telecom:
Tel: +261 34 07 042 70
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