Airtel Africa and American Tower have announced a multiyear strategic partnership that will involve communication sites in Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda and will prioritize extending digital inclusion to underserved communities and advancing the pair’s green initiatives.
All new sites built under the agreement will comply with ATC Africa’s green site specifications, which ATC said will “substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels” and help the tower company achieve its science-based targets (SBTs). Specific goals include increasing the number of its solar assistance sites to 12,000 by 2025; reducing direct scope 1 and indirect scope 2 GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2035, and cutting indirect scope 3 supply chain emissions by at least 40%.
Airtel Africa and ATC said that over time, they will convert existing telecommunications sites to ATC green site specifications, as well.
In addition, Airtel Africa and ATC Africa 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 more than 200 Digital Communities will be deployed in these markets in the coming years.
“Over the last several years, ATC Africa 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, ATC Africa has invested approximately $300 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.”
Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, said 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 establish 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,” he said.