Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has today announced through a press statement the completion of agreements for funding totalling US $307 from multiple financiers among which are Chinese, European and African institutions. The long list of financiers includes China Development Bank, Ericsson (Sweden), Industrial Development Corporation (South Africa), Afreximbank (African), PTA Bank (Africa), TN Bank (Zimbabwe), CBZ (Zimbabwe), DEG KfW Bankengruppe (Germany), FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank (Netherlands) and Proparco (French development bank).
The money raised, according to the company, will go into network infrastructure development and deployment of products. The mobile operator says it intends to expand the network to previously marginalised rural communities so these communities in Zimbabwe can access affordable telecoms services.
Econet is expected this year to introduce new solar products including one called Home Power Station it introduced last year through its subsidiary, Econet Solar. The company is also expected to introduce various value added services to augment its largely voice driven revenue base. Such may be the reintroduction of mobile phone based insurance services.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a listed subsidiary of South Africa based Econet Wireless International, commands 70% of the mobile phone market in Zimbabwe. The company posted after tax profit of US $167 million in its recently announced full year results. Its sister company, Liquid Telecom, has the largest terrestrial fibre network in the country connecting Zimbabwe to international fibre via South Africa and also connecting the country to alternative routes through Zambia. Liquid Telecom also owns one of the largest Internet Service Providers in Zimbabwe, ZOL, a company it acquired in January this year.