Bharti Airtel

Africa Communications and IT Services

Bharti Airtel Africa (BAA) is one of the largest mobile operators in Africa, having acquired 15 country operations from mobile and data operator Zain, and subsequently adding operations in Rwanda and the Seychelles.

It is part of Bharti Airtel Limited, a New Delhi-based global telecomms company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, and the largest mobile network operator in India.

Across all markets, Bharti Airtel pursues a high-volume, low-price business model which benefits low-income consumers and expands the reach of mobile communications to underserved customer groups.

Our investment

In 2014, CDC agreed to provide up to €30 million to Bharti Airtel Africa as part of a €205 million debt facility.

The facility, provided by a consortium of DFIs, is helping BAA expand its telecomms provision across 17 African countries, including some of the least developed states.

Our impact

The penetration rate for mobile telecoms in sub-Saharan Africa is about 47 per cent, far lower than other developing countries such as India where it is over 75 per cent. Growth has been constrained by low incomes, poor infrastructure and limited network coverage outside of major cities.

Our investment is expected to add 1,300 new direct jobs to the company's current workforce of over 5,000 by 2016.
The upgrade in infrastructure and technology will support the creation of many more indirect jobs in partner and supplier companies. It will also provide a larger share of the population with internet access and services such as mobile banking.

Bharti’s presence in Africa has already led to lower tariffs in several markets due to its price strategy and its One Network service. This enables customers to avoid roaming charges when they travel between the countries in which Airtel operates.

Our investment will also help generate government revenues, through both direct taxation, and through licence and access fees.

Environmental and social aspects

The company also benefits from strong corporate governance, as well as leading environmental and social responsibility management.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.


We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Communications and IT Services
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Debt
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

December 2013
End date

For direct equity investments, this is the date at which CDC 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.

September 2015

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


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