The World Bank’s International Financing Corp. loaned Africa’s second-largest mobile telecommunications company, Celtel International BV, US$320 million for expansion in five countries on the continent.

The funds will support Celtel’s efforts to develop and modernize networks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Madagascar, Sierre Leone and Uganda.

The investment will result in better quality mobile access in the nations, which have extremely limited telephone service, and create new opportunities for businesses in Africa, Celtel Chairman Mo Ibrahim said in a statement. Celtel International has a presence in 14 African countries including Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The loan is the largest given by the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, in Sub-Saharan Africa.