Tanzania to route national fiber extension along electricity grid

TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania is to use the country’s national electricity grid to extend its nationwide fibre network. The country’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies has awarded Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation a contract to construct the network over the power infrastructure – and to extend the power network itself. Faustine Ndugulile, the minister of information and communication technologies, said high-speed internet was essential for the next industrial revolution. “The fourth industrial revolution is built on a combination of various digital and modern technologies such as blockchain, drones, internet,…

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Angola secures US$1.1b financing from World Bank for its mega Bita water project

ANGOLA – The government of Angola has secured a new US$1.1 billion financing package from the World Bank and the French Export Credit Agency to enable the completion of its’s mega Bita drinking water project. This is part of a US$1.1 billion financial transaction, consisting of a US$910 million loan from the World Bank through its subsidiary, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The other part of the loan is provided by the French Export Credit Agency. Standard Chartered, a British multinational banking and financial services company, arranged…

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WorldRemit closes US$292m Series E funding, rebrands as Zepz

WORLD – Mobile payments firm Zepz, formerly WorldRemit Group, has raised US$292 million in new primary Series E financing, achieving a valuation of US$5 billion. The digital cross-border payments platform with a presence in Africa is operating two brands–WorldRemit and Sendwave, acquired in 2021, with over 11 million users across 150 countries. According to an official announcement shared by the company, the recent funding round includes new equity investors, Farallon Capital among others, as well as existing investors Leapfrog, TCV and Accel. “The funding round will allow Zepz to maximize strategic flexibility…

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World Bank appoints Firas Raad as new country manager for South Sudan

SOUTH SUDAN – The World Bank Group has appointed Mr. Firas Raad as the new Country Manager for South Sudan effective August 1, 2021. Mr. Raad will be leading an expanding country program focused on delivering project financing and analytical services in support of South Sudan’s development priorities. The World Bank Group’s current portfolio in the country consists of six engagements with a total financing volume of $US$ 375 million in commitments.     Under his tenure, the World Bank Group will continue to work closely with the Government of South…

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World Bank appoints Clara Ana De Sousa as Country Director for the Sahel countries

WEST AFRICA – The World Bank has appointed Clara Ana De Sousa, a Mozambican national, as the new Country Director for the Sahel countries including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger. She will be based in Bamako, Mali. Clara De Sousa was previously Manager for the IDA Strategy and Operations unit where she was responsible for the replenishment and stewardship of IDA. She joined the Bank in June 2005 as a Senior Economist in the Economic Policy Sector in the Latin America and Caribbean region and has since held various…

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IFC and East Africa Bank unveils US$5m trade finance guarantee to support businesses in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a US$5 million trade finance guarantee facility to Djibouti- based East Africa Bank (EAB) to help local companies engage in cross-border trade. The support is a vital engine of economic growth that has been strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, IFC’s trade finance facility guarantee of up to US$5 million under its Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) will help EAB provide financing to importers and exporters in Djibouti, supporting the local economy and helping maintain…

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Morocco secures US$450m loan from World Bank to improve its digital infrastructure

MOROCCO – The World Bank has announced through a press release that it would be awarding Morocco a US$450 million loan through its Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program. The loan aims to expand the availability of financial services and digital infrastructure for individuals and businesses, as well as improving financial inclusion and digital entrepreneurship. This is the second of three DPF loans the World Bank plans to give to Morocco. Morocco plans to use the loan to continue to improve its digital infrastructure with the intent…

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Benin secures US$200m funding from World Bank to improve access to electricity services

BENIN – The World Bank approved US$200 million in International Development Association (IDA), funding to help Benin improve access to electricity services for households, businesses, and basic public services. The Benin Electricity Access Scale-Up Project will carry out densification and extension works to increase access to grid electricity services for households, small and medium enterprises, and some basic public services. About 2,000 km of medium voltage lines and 4,000 km of low voltage lines will be constructed or rehabilitated and 80,000 kVA of transformers installed in 1,100 localities. At least…

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World Bank approves US$142m loan to integrate solar energy into Zanzibar grid

ZANZIBAR – The World Bank Group has approved US$142 million for the modernisation of Zanzibar’s electricity network and the integration of renewable energy and allow the electrification of 400,000 people in this Indian Ocean archipelago. Of this funding, US$117 million represents a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) while remaining US$22 million is a loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), which is also providing a US$3 million grant. The funds will be used to implement the Zanzibar Energy Sector Access and Transformation Project (Zesta). The project is being…

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IFC in new pact to develop affordable housing units in Kenya

KENYA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a new deal with Belco Realty LLP, a real estate development firm in support of affordable mixed use affordable living complex in Mombasa, Kenya. The mixed-use affordable housing will consist of 1,379 residential units and over 4,500 square meters of retail and commercial spaces in Kongowea, Mombasa County. Together with the Kenyan firm, IFC says the partnership will help meet surging demand for housing in Kenya. Under the agreement, IFC will help identify suitable…

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