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IFC Invests $1 billion in Telecoms, Media and Technology in Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that it invested over $1 billion in the telecoms, media and technology (TMT) industry in emerging markets in the last fiscal year that ended in June the largest investment in the sector by IFC in a single year.

International Finance Corporation said that the high demand for digital services in developing countries led to increased telecoms, media, and technology investments. Nearly 75% of IFC’s $1 billion commitment in TMT was in Africa.

“The pandemic had a countercyclical impact on the digital infrastructure sector which became a lifeline that kept communities connected, businesses running, and governments functioning.” IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop.

The investments included a $100 million investment in Africa’s largest independent fibre, data centre and cloud technology provider, Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd, in February this year. The institution also partnered with Orange Money Madagascar to help the company expand its mobile money services in Madagascar.

Additionally, IFC put in $25 million in Vantage Capital, a pan-African fund, and $20 million in West Indian Ocean Cable Company to support broadband connectivity across Africa. IFC is the leading development finance institution operating in the Telecoms, Media and Technology sector in developing markets. In the last ten years, the organization has ploughed in over $5 billion in the sector.

The World Bank member aims to strengthen the digital industry in developing economies and increase access to reliable and affordable internet in low-income countries.

Recently, the private investment arm of the World Bank revealed plans to invest up to $2 million (Kes 215 million) in Antler East Africa, a venture capital firm based in Nairobi. The funds will primarily be invested in pre-seed opportunities in East Africa and beyond.

The private investment firm said it expects the investment in Antler will lead to easy access to pre-seed stage equity, enable start-ups in East Africa to scale operations and provide follow-on funding.