November 10, 2011 / 6:09 AM / 8 years ago

IFC to spend up to $400 mln on Africa telecoms next financial yr

U.S. dollar notes in a file photo. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The International Finance Corporation plans to spend up to $300 million in the financial year ending June and another $400 million in the following year on new African telecoms projects that are not commercially attractive to traditional financiers.

“We would very much be looking to do $200-$400 million a year for our own account in Africa and ideally helping mobilise funding from other sources — commercial banks, other development institutions — to double or triple that,” said Kent Lupberger, IFC’s global head for Technology, Media and Telecom.

The private sector financing arm of the World Bank previously did a lot of financing of cellular companies but is doing less of that now because the firms are now established and have easier access to financing.

Instead, it is focusing on newer business opportunities such as data centres, so-called last mile broadband connectivity, tower sharing, IT services among others, Lupberger told Reuters at an industry conference late on Wednesday.

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