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Summary of proposed guarantee

Summaries of proposed guarantees are provided prior to Board consideration and before final contract signing, and they are therefore subject to change. Project briefs are disclosed after Board consideration and contract signing and reflect the terms of the project at the time of contract signature. Environmental and Social Review Summaries are provided for projects assigned an Environmental Assessment Category of A or B.


Project name
DRC Infraco SPRL (HTD)
Project ID
Fiscal year
Guarantee holder
Belgian Investment Company (BIO)
Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd.
Investor country
South Africa
Host country
Congo, Democratic Republic of
Environmental category
Date SPG disclosed
September 25, 2013
Project Board date
October 24, 2013
Gross exposure
 $100.0 million
Project type
Strategic priority area
Conflict Affected
Environmental and Social Review Summary for Helios Towers DRC (PDF)

Project description

This summary covers a non-shareholder loan by Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd., acting as arranger of the commercial tranche (for itself and other lenders to be identified) and DEG as the development finance institution arranger (for itself and BIO) to DRC Infraco SPRL (HTD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The lenders have applied for MIGA guarantees of up to $100.0 million for a period of up to five years (Standard Bank and other commercial lenders) and seven years (DEG and BIO). The requested coverage is against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.

Established by Helios Tower Africa of Mauritius in 2010, HTD is the only independent telecom tower company operating in the DRC. HTD provides passive infrastructure (space on towers, ground space, power, site maintenance and security) to telecom operators and internet services providers. Since commencing operations in 2011, HTD has signed tower lease agreements with all five mobile operators in the DRC. The financing provided by the lenders will support upgrading, reactivation, and expansion of HTD’s tower infrastructure.

Environmental Categorization

The project is a category B under MIGA’s Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability. Click here to view the Environmental and Social Review Summary.

Development Impact

With the construction of additional tower sites, existing and potential mobile operators and internet service providers will be able to expand the reach of their services both in terms of geography and capacity. It will also allow smaller and newer wireless operators to benefit from reduced barriers to entry as they will have access to leased tower facilities rather than having to build their own. In addition to reducing costs, the shared infrastructure will reduce operators’ carbon emission footprint.

This project is aligned with the World Bank Group Country Assistance Strategy’s objective of actively supporting job-creating private sector development in the DRC. Specific country development goals include building a modern national infrastructure and improving the access to telecoms and new technologies.

MIGA’s support for this project is aligned with the Agency’s priorities of supporting investments into countries eligible for financing from the International Development Association and countries affected by conflict. It is also aligned with the Agency priority of supporting South-South investments.

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