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€87M Boost For Sonatel’s Telecom Expansion In Senegal

IN a significant move to enhance telecommunications infrastructure in Senegal, three investment groups have partnered to provide a combined €87 million (about $94.5 million) financing package. This initiative aims to support Sonatel, a leading telecom operator, in expanding its services, particularly in rural areas, ensuring reliable and affordable mobile and internet services across the country.

The collaborative effort includes British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which focuses on private sector growth in developing nations; and Proparco, a subsidiary of France’s AFD Group dedicated to private sector development.

This venture marks the first sustainability-linked financing in the Francophone West African region. The funding mechanism is designed to link loan pricing with the achievement of developmental outcomes, particularly in promoting female empowerment and enhancing the local workforce’s capabilities.


The investment structure sets ambitious targets for Sonatel. These include increasing the representation of women in management positions and expanding the reach of digital skills programs within Senegal. The aim is to not only improve essential telecom infrastructure but also to foster significant social development outcomes.

Chris Chijiutomi, Managing Director and Head of Africa at BII, emphasised the strategic importance of this investment. ‘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 announcement follows closely on the heels of another major investment by BII. TOA (TowerCo of Africa) Tanzania has secured a $30 million financing agreement with BII, signalling a robust commitment to enhancing digital infrastructure across Africa.

Through these strategic investments, BII, IFC, and Proparco are positioning themselves at the forefront of driving economic growth and digital connectivity in the region, while also championing significant social impacts such as gender equality and workforce development.

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