American Tower Corporation’s (ATC) African operations and Airtel Africa plc (Airtel Africa, or the Group) today announced that they have entered a multi-year, multi-product agreement, leveraging ATC’s vast portfolio of communications sites and new site and product development capabilities across its footprint in Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Uganda in support of Airtel Africa’s network rollout. The companies’ combined efforts will substantially increase connectivity on the continent, extend digital inclusion to underserved communities, and advance their mutual greenhouse (GHG) emissions reduction objectives.
All new site development under the agreement will comply with ATC’s new green site specifications, which will substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels, while advancing American Tower’s progress toward achieving its Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Furthermore, this strategic partnership is expected to reduce exposure to fuel prices volatility for both ATC and Airtel Africa. The parties have also committed to continue working together to convert existing telecommunication sites to ATC’s green site specifications over time.
In addition, Airtel Africa and ATC will partner to provide training around information and communications technology skills to underserved communities as part of their respective kiosks and digital communities’ programs. Under this partnership, it is expected that in the coming years more than 200 digital communities will be deployed in these markets.
“Over the last several years, ATC has made forward-thinking investments to ensure we achieve tangible reductions in our on-site fossil fuel consumption in Africa,” Marek Busfy, SVP and CEO of ATC Africa stated.
To date, American Tower has invested approximately $400 million in energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy deployments and energy storage solutions to decrease on-site reliance on fossil fuels. The company has also earmarked additional investments to fund the implementation of future energy efficiencies.
“As we selectively extend the platform services we offer, we are demonstrating our commitment to introduce new and renewable sources of energy to power our sites, which protects the industry, our customers and consumers from ongoing and future volatility in fuel prices. Airtel Africa’s environmental goals are aligned with ours and, as we expand digital reach on the African continent, we remain committed to reducing GHG emissions in tandem with our growth.” Busfy adds, “Furthermore, through our digital communities’ program, we will be able to meaningfully improve quality of life in our markets through connectivity.”
Commenting on this landmark agreement, Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, said that the company has once again demonstrated its commitment to creating value for customers and shareholders by subscribing to an environmentally sustainable growth model. “Airtel Africa’s corporate citizenship requires us to extend coverage to increasingly remote areas – and meeting this obligation is necessary to establishing a sustainable partnership with a like-minded industry player. We continue to invest in infrastructure and distribution networks across the countries where we operate to support their economies and communities. Sustainability is at the core of our strategy, driven by our corporate purpose to transform lives across Africa and support people, businesses, and governments in getting access to better connectivity.”