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Kenya phone firm gets Sh7b

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – Essar Telecom Kenya Holdings Ltd (ETKHL), the owners of Yu, Kenya’s fourth mobile telephone operator has received a Sh7.5 billion investment from Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) to expand the firm’s East African operations.

PAIDF is a Pan African fund focused on investing in and developing infrastructure projects across African nations. It is currently based Johannesburg and Tunisia.

Essar Telecom CEO Srinivasa Iyengar said they would use the investment for the next phase of network rollout in the Kenyan market.

“We are committed to build a quality network in Kenya with the objective to offer “Best in Class” experience to our customers. We look forward to leveraging our understanding and experience of the telecommunications industry along with PAIDF’s regional presence and intelligence,” he said.

Tshepo Mahloele, CEO, Harith, Fund Managers for PAIDF commented said: “We are certain that the Essar Group will bring about a landscape change to the mobile telecoms market in the East African region that will extend beyond Kenya.”

Yu, which launched in October, targets a youthful market, offering attractive tariffs as well as innovative products and services.  It is boasting of 70 percent brand awareness since launch amongst its target audience.

The mobile network recently launched Eneza Electronic Top up which enables paperless top ups, helping conserve the environment.

Its current network covers Nairobi and Mombasa, with plans to roll out countrywide by the end of the year.

ETKHL is a subsidiary of Essar, one of the initial entrants in telecom business in India.

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Essar holds a 33 percent interest in Vodafone Essar, which is a joint venture with the Vodafone Group, and is one of India’s largest cellular service providers, with over 75 million subscribers.

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