British International Investment

Metier AMN Partnership LP

AfricaAfricaCommunications & IT services

Fund organised to hold the Limited Partners’ interests in Africa Mobile Networks, a UK-registered company that builds, owns and operates mobile network base stations throughout sub-Saharan Africa

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

The investment aims to support rural connectivity, including connecting remote villages and settlements to improve ICT access, and supporting economic opportunities, by making investments into tower infrastructure across sub-Saharan Africa. We can play a key role by providing additional capital alongside Metier given that most commercial investors view the model as too risky.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Improved access to information and communications technology (SDG 9C).
  • Improved economic opportunities from greater productivity as a result of technological upgrades (SDG 8.2)

How?

Primary Secondary

The roll-out of a further 8,320 solar-powered towers by 2025, from the existing tower base of 1686, will increase 2G capacity in underserved and unconnected regions, improving access to connectivity.

Economic enabler: Connectivity will enable access to digital services and unlock productivity benefits for both individuals and companies.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Consumers and employees

Rural regions across sub-Saharan Africa. Current presence in DRC, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, Guinea, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, Bissau, S Sudan, Sudan. Tower roll-out is targeting an additional nine markets: Benin, Burkina Faso, CAR, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Niger, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda.

Given roll-out is targeting rural and unconnected regions, benefits are likely to accrue to low-income and previously underserved populations and businesses. 30 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is still entirely out of coverage, and 75 per cent remain offline.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Expansion of presence to 19 Sub Saharan African countries in total through 5K towers by 2022 and ~10K towers by 2025, up from ~1680 today. This is expected to enable connectivity for an estimated 10 million rural consumers by 2025 (base case), up from 850K subscribers reached to date.

Impact estimated to be deep and long-lasting through the way connectivity affects the economic complexity of a region, including breadth of products and services it underpins. Network upgrades evidenced to be linked to measurable GDP uplifts. Impact expected to be deep where connectivity allows for previously underserved segments of the population to access digital services (e.g. mobile money, banking, agriculture, and healthcare).

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: Capital is not offered by the market in sufficient quantity.
  • Value additionality: Enhanced environmental, social, governance and business integrity standards will enhance the impact of the company s operations while reducing execution and impact risks

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.

3.7

Risk

External Risk
  • Coverage does not always result in access given other barriers (e.g. pricing of handsets and plans) and may slow adoption of 3G/4G and corresponding productivity improvements. Some mitigation may take place by AMN’s provision of subsidised handsets.
External Risk
  • As infrastructure roll-out is targeting countries with potential economic, political and social turbulence, this increases execution risk. Mitigated to a large extent by AMN’s moveable infrastructure, which means towers can be repositioned if needed.
Unexpected Impact Risk
  • Risk of lack of competition and mobile network operators charging high prices. Mitigated as co-location ratios increase.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We partnered with our fund manager to co-invest in this company, including through shared ESDD proportionate to the company's scale.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D4969
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Communications & IT services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Fund
    Start date :
    June 2021
    Amount :
    $10.88m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Fund Manager:
    Metier Investment and Advisory Services (Proprietary) Limited
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Mauritius

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit https://www.metier.co.za/

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Africa Mobile Networks Limited Africa Africa Communications & IT services July 2021 Active

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