US agency to invest billions in Africa

Thursday December 24 2020

Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa will benefit from $2.1 billion investments from a US-government agency targeting emerging markets. The International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) approved the investments this quarter for emerging markets in Africa, Eastern Europe, Indo-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East.

In sub-Saharan Africa, DFC will provide $800 million to build a telecommunications network and data centres to enhance Internet connectivity.

In East Africa, DFC will provide $500 million loan to the Vodafone-led Global Partnership for Ethiopia for the design, development, and operation of a new private mobile network provider and the acquisition of a mobile network provider licence. The project’s impact is expected to create a new private telecommunications network that will increase connectivity in Ethiopia while utilising trusted technology.

DFC will also support development of data centres across Africa for $300 million through acquisition and expansion of existing data centre assets in South Africa and Kenya. This financing will also enable entry into new markets through the development, construction and operation of data centres in DFC-eligible African countries, increasing connectivity and supporting economic development.

In a statement, DFC chief executive Adam Boehler said DFC’s board of directors approved $1.6 billion in investments across six projects.

“More than 65 per cent of DFC’s capital approved this quarter will be deployed to low and lower-middle income countries, and fragile states. These investments will strengthen small businesses, support female entrepreneurs, expand telecommunications and increase development in emerging markets,” said Mr Boehler.