The United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) has been issued a waiver from the United States State Department to finance the Global Partnership for Ethiopia.
The Global Partnership for Ethiopia is the Vodafone consortium that won a bid for a license to operate in Ethiopia. The USIDFC has expressed its intent to provide funding amounting to USD 500 million.
Doubts were cast into this funding plan, however, after the United States government launched economic and travel sanctions on Ethiopian government officials and economic activities.
The sanctions are part of the United States government’s measures to address humanitarian issues caused by the Tigray conflict but Ethiopian officials say that these measures are an overreach and amount to violations of Ethiopia’s sovereignty.
Despite fears that the USIDFC looked set to withdraw the loan offer permanently, which could have forced the consortium to source the cash from elsewhere and at a higher cost, Safaricom executives confirmed yesterday that the USIDFC had been granted a waiver to continued investing in select efforts in Ethiopia, including the consortium.
The appeal of the USIDFC financing is that it gives the consortium long term financing options with much more favourable terms than most others options on the market.