Airtel Africa has partnered with UNICEF in a five-year pan-African partnership to help accelerate the roll-out of digital learning by connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free access to online learning platforms in Nigeria and other twelve African Nations.
With this partnership, Airtel Africa is the first African private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to ‘Reimagine Education’, a global initiative launched by UNICEF in 2020 calling for public and private sector investment in digital learning as an essential service for every child and young person across the globe. This initiative aims to give children a chance to catch up on their learning needs amid the ongoing global pandemic.
“Hundreds of millions of children in Africa have seen their education disrupted or put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “By championing digital education for children in Africa, this partnership with Airtel Africa will help put children’s learning back on track.”
The partnership will benefit learners in Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Airtel Africa’s financial and in-kind contribution for this partnership is $57 million over five years to 2027. The programme will call on technology and expertise, in addition to direct financial support to connect schools and communities to the internet, enable free access to online educational content for learners. It will also provide vital data insights to inform UNICEF’s work to scale-up digital learning and help ensure it is sustainable and meets students’ needs across Africa.
“As a business, we have focused on education as a key area of our corporate social responsibility, and we are delighted that this partnership with UNICEF will enable us to accelerate results. It also coincides with the launch of our new sustainability strategy, which lays out our commitment to education,” said Olusegun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa.
“We are excited to be working with UNICEF to advance the education agenda on the continent through facilitating connectivity and online access to play a role in driving change,” he added.
Airtel Africa Receives $194 Million Loan Facility From IFC
Airtel Africa partners with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to connect even more Africa
Africa’s leading telecommunications and mobile money services, Airtel Africa has signed a new $194 million credit facility with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank.
According to the telecommunications giant, the new financing facility is in accordance with the company’s strategy to improve debt within its operating firms and support operations in key African markets.
The eight years tenor credit facility will help Airtel Africa support operations and investments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of Congo and Zambia.
Also, it would help provide more diversified access to local funding, the company stated in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.
In line with IFC requirements for a loan facility, Airtel Africa is expected to deepen its Social and Environmental Sustainability and has put in place a dedicated Environmental and Social Action plan.
This, Airtel said would deepen its commitment to changing the lives of people in the communities in which it operates and provides clarity on how the Group can help address inequality and support economic growth in these communities.
Commenting on the facility, Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa said: “I am very excited to announce the signing of this new facility with IFC. Not only does it align with our focus on improving our balance sheet through localising debt within our OpCos, but as we make progress on our sustainability journey it also supports our commitments and ability to meet strong ESG criteria. I look forward to working closely with IFC in the coming years as we explore further opportunities to support the economies and communities where we operate.”
On the part of IFC, Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa, has this to say: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made mobile connectivity even more urgent for both social and economic development. Helping more people connect to affordable and fast internet networks is a priority for IFC in Africa, especially in the continent’s lower-income countries. The partnership with Airtel Africa will help achieve this.”
MTN to Bid For Second 5G Spectrum; Other Telcos Protest
MTN to bid for a second 5g spectrum on December 16, 2022
Nigerian mobile telecommunications company, MTN has showcased a potential interest to bid for a second 5G spectrum in the forthcoming auction which is scheduled for December 19, 2022.
The potential bidding however has been opposed by other telecommunication companies which claimed the move is against the spirit of competition.
Investors King could recall that MTN and Mafab Communications won the first 3.5GHz spectrum license for a 5G network which was auctioned in December 2021 by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
The highly competitive auction which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja also witnessed the participation of Airtel.
Subsequently, in September 2022, MTN finally launched the 5G network to boost internet speed in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri.
However, to access the 5G network, users will need to have compatible devices which is a bit expensive for average Nigerians.
To this end, MTN thereafter partnered with a phone financing company, Intelligra to bridge the cost of 5G-enabled smartphones.
According to MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Adia Sowho, the partnership with Intelligra is aimed to drive 5G adoption in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, barely two months after MTN launched its 5G network, the leading telecommunication company in Nigeria has showcased a potential bid for the second spectrum which is scheduled to hold on Friday.
At a stakeholders engagement meeting organised in Lagos, MTN’s General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Ikenna Ikeme, said the company had entered the last auction in 2021 with the expectation that it was an open market and it would be allowed to participate in other auctions should the need arise.
This, however, did not go down well with other telecommunication companies which claimed that should MTN be allowed to participate in the second auction and eventually win, it will make them dormant players which could affect the overall growth of the industry.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta who presided over the engagement session noted that all contending issues will be given due consideration before the auction on Friday.
Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Others Activity Level Jump Despite Stock Market Negative Close
Investors transacted 187,094,282 shares worth N2.535 billion in 3,326 transactions with Access Bank accounting for 87,923,339 shares valued at N704,474,274.95
Despite the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) opening in the red on Monday, activity on Access Bank continued to increase while Zenith Bank and others followed closely.
Investors transacted 187,094,282 shares worth N2.535 billion in 3,326 transactions with Access Bank accounting for 87,923,339 shares valued at N704,474,274.95. This may not be unconnected to Herbert Wigwe’s recent acquisition. The Chairman, Access Holdings Plc has dumped almost a billion on Access Bank stocks in the last one month.
The banking index appreciated by 26 basis points (bps) on 3.48% and 1.42% gain in the value of Union Bank of Nigeria and Sterling Bank.
The consumer goods index and industrial index were unchanged on Monday. The oil and gas shed 38 basis points on 2.56% decline in Oando.
The market vaue of all listed equities stood at N23.867 trillion, a decline of N82 billion from N23.949 trillion it closed on Friday. The NGX All-share index shed 0.34% from 43,968.75 index points it settled last week to 43,818.12 index points.
The Exchange Yea-to-date return declined to 2.58% as only 13 stocks closed in the green against another 13 that lost points. See other details below.
Top Five Gainers
|FTNCOCOA||N 0.31||N 0.34||0.03||9.68 %|
|CHIPLC||N 0.58||N 0.62||0.04||6.90 %|
|MANSARD||N 1.53||N 1.62||0.09||5.88 %|
|CHAMS||N 0.24||N 0.25||0.01||4.17 %|
|UBN||N 5.75||N 5.95||0.20||3.48 %|
Top Five Losers
|JOHNHOLT||N 0.81||N 0.73||-0.08||-9.88 %|
|SCOA||N 1.75||N 1.58||-0.17||-9.71 %|
|PRESTIGE||N 0.39||N 0.36||-0.03||-7.69 %|
|UNITYBNK||N 0.57||N 0.54||-0.03||-5.26 %|
|AFRIPRUD||N 5.35||N 5.10||-0.25||-4.67 %|
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