European firms back TowerCo of Africa with $40 million to boost Uganda mobile network coverage

March 7, 2024
2 min read

The news: 

  • TowerCo of Africa Uganda, a tower infrastructure company, has announced raising $40 million in long-term financing to improve mobile phone network coverage in rural areas within the East African country. 
  • The investment comes from European development finance partners. The European Investment Bank, in partnership with ACP Trust Fund, will provide $16 million, and $12 million each will come from the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO). 
  • The 10-year funding will allow the Ugandan tower company to install 506 new telecom towers in rural areas that don’t have mobile network coverage or where existing mobile network infrastructure is already at full capacity, resulting in congestion.

The new investment, which underlines the need to address coverage hindrances in Uganda, will be instrumental in achieving the country’s 95% coverage goal. Mobile network coverage in the African nation currently stands at 65%.

Per the press release published on the company’s website on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, the new telecom towers will primarily run on sustainable energy, reducing the likelihood of fuel and generator theft and advancing a greener Uganda.

The European-backed network investment is expected to give rural Ugandan communities access to 4G and 5G data services and encourage the adoption of mobile money solutions, unlocking digital empowerment and fostering financial inclusion. 

Several mobile network operators in the country will share all 506 towers, accelerating their expansion into rural areas. 

Installing the new towers will happen over the next two years, with an estimated 2,000 skilled and unskilled job opportunities for local communities during the construction phase. 

Geoffrey Donnels Oketayot, CEO of TowerCo of Africa Uganda, noted that the new investment from the European backers signifies a shared vision for connecting communities and fostering economic growth in Africa. 

Moreos, Thomas Östros, Vice President of the European Investment Bank assures that the firm is committed to bridging the digital gap in the continent and supporting TowerCo of Africa Uganda's mission to transform rural connectivity across the country is part of that commitment. 

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