Sustainability-linked financing deal for Senegal’s Sonatel

Sustainability-linked financing deal for Senegal’s Sonatel

Three investment groups have partnered to support operator Sonatel’s telecoms expansion in Senegal. The combined €87 million (about $94.5 million) financing package aims to help the company expand telecoms infrastructure, including towers and cables, in rural areas and provide reliable and affordable mobile and internet services to people in Senegal.

The groups involved are British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, along with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) , which invests in private sector growth in the developing world, and Proparco, a subsidiary of France’s AFD Group, which is focused on private sector development .

This is described as the first sustainability-linked financing in Francophone West African region, designed to link loan pricing with developmental outcomes for female empowerment and capability building for the local workforce.

What this means is that, while the funding will be used to improve essential telecom infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, the investment structure is designed to link the pricing of the loan to the achievement of measurable development goals.

Thus it sets out ambitious goals for Sonatel in two areas: increasing the representation of women in management positions in Senegal and expanding the reach of digital skills programmes implemented by Sonatel within the country.

Chris Chijiutomi, Managing Director, and Head of Africa at BII, says, “Investing in the digital infrastructure space is a priority for BII given its importance to address economic growth constraints in Africa. Our investment in Sonatel will help provide quality and affordable connectivity and directly foster inclusive economic growth, particularly in rural areas. It also aligns with our goal to invest more in the Francophone West Africa region. We look forward to working with our partners to digitally connect more people and businesses in the area.”

This is the first of two BII investments to be announced in a matter of days. As we reported earlier today TOA (TowerCo of Africa) Tanzania has signed a US$30 million financing agreement with BII.


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