Liquid Telecom, an African fibre company has won a $180 million investment from British development finance agency CDC Group. The company said the fund will be used to deliver high-speed broadband further into central and western Africa.
The privately owned firm, which is based in Mauritius said the development will enable it accelerate the expansion of its pan-African fibre network. Liquid Telecom notes that its fibre network is already the largest on the continent, as it stretches from Cape Town at the southernmost tip of South Africa to Cairo in Egypt.
Liquid Telecom’s CEO, Nic Rudnick said the expansion will bring fast and reliable connection and cloud services to communities and businesses in some of the most remote parts of Africa.
Rudnick said “once completed, it will bring significant social and economic benefits – from providing access to online educational resources to supporting national economies, creating more jobs and driving the adoption of new technologies”.
According to data published last week by the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union, Africa currently has the lowest rates of fixed and mobile broadband subscription penetration in the world, at 0.6 per 100 inhabitants and 29.7 per 100 inhabitants respectively.
The continent has a lot more work to do before it benefits from a digital economy, especially when compared to Europe which has 31.3 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants and 93.6 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.
CEO of the CDC Group, Nick O’Donohoe said “digital infrastructure is still a major problem for Africa’s governments, people and it’s businesses”. He noted that quality internet is central to Africa’s development and economic growth.