In addition to distributing basic solar equipment, EWGL aims to launch mobile banking services in Zimbabwe and the subregion. This will promote financial inclusion for unbanked populations.
Econet Wireless Global Limited (EWGL) is a holding company which owns 41% of EWZL, the leading mobile telecom operator in Zimbabwe, as well as 63% of Liquid Telecommunications Holding Limited, a fiber optic network operator in nine African countries. EWGL also owns shares in other smaller companies, including Econet Telecom Lesotho Ltd and Econet Wireless Burundi S.A.
This financing aims to support EWGL’s investments to deploy its mobile banking services (“EcoCash”) in the subregion. It will also finance the development of its distribution activity for basic solar equipment (lanterns, phone chargers, etc.). It follows on from an existing partnership between Proparco and the telecoms group Econet Wireless established in 2011.
The development of mobile banking will improve the financial inclusion of unbanked populations in the subregion. The project will maintain or create over 800 direct jobs in Zimbabwe, as well as indirect jobs via the sales activities. It will generate some EUR 82m of public revenue for the Government of Zimbabwe, to which Econet is the largest contributor.