ECP backs Wananchi

Published: September 30, 2009

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a US-based private equity firm focused on Africa,  has invested US$25mn in Wananchi, an East African media and telecommunications company.

Wananchi provides pay-TV and high speed Internet services in Kenya and Tanzania. The company will use ECP’s investment to upgrade and expand its network infrastructure.

Speaking to emeafinance magazine as part of its report on African private equity (see forthcoming October/November 2009 issue), ECP chief executive Thomas Gibian said the development of high-speed internet across the continent would be “a game changer” for the sector.

The investment in Wananchi is ECP’s 10th in the African telecom sector. The firm also holds stakes in Zain Gabon, MTN Cote d’Ivoire and Cellcom.

Wananchi was formed in 2007 through the acquisition of several smaller companies by East Africa Capital Partners, a regional venture capital fund manager.