(Ecofin Agency) - Telecom tower operator Eastcastle Infrastructure announced yesterday June 29 it will invest $130 million to strengthen its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire. The resources were obtained through the sale of a majority stake to a consortium formed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM)- the manager of infrastructure-focused private equity funds in Africa, Adenia Partners- an Africa-focused private equity firm, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)- a member of the World Bank.
Linda Munyengeterwa, the IFC's regional director for infrastructure in the Middle East and Africa, said: “With almost half of the world’s population still unconnected, bridging the digital divide is a core priority for IFC. By supporting infrastructure sharing initiatives, we can help accelerate digital connectivity at a lower cost while enabling consumers to access quality services.”
“This investment in Eastcastle is testimony to IFC’s commitment to strengthening digital infrastructure in Africa and contributing to inclusive economic growth,” she added.
The agreement signed by AIIM, Adenia Partners, and IFC with Eastcastle Infrastructure comes at a time when data consumption is growing in Africa. In its "The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2020" report, the Global System Operators Association (GSMA) estimates that data consumption will quadruple on the continent by 2025, with 200 million new users expected.
Eastcastle Infrastructure's new investment will allow telecom operators in the targeted markets to reduce their operational expenses and focus more on developing their services. The company will also gain additional revenue from extending its telecom towers into remote areas where the need for connectivity is also growing.