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World Bank’s IFC plots investment into South African digital infrastructure group

The welcomed investment is only part of sub-Saharan Africa needs of around $100 billion to achieve universal, affordable, and high-quality broadband access by 2030, according to the Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

November 09, 2021 | 7:00 AM GMT

World Bank’s IFC plots investment into South African digital infrastructure group

Strive Masiyiwa, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Executive Chairman and Founder with Makhtar Diop, IFC. Source: IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has partnered with South Africa’s Liquid Intelligent Technologies (Liquid.Tech) to expand data centre capacity and the rollout of fibre-optic cable across the African continent.

The partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, formerly known as Liquid Telecom, aims to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and to support the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

IFC’s equity and debt investments in Liquid.Tech, which to date total approximately $250 million, will support the company to grow its hyperscale data centre capacity in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa through its subsidiary, Africa Data Centres.

The investments will also support Liquid.Tech in the continued rollout of its fibre broadband network, which today covers more than 100,000 kilometres of sub-Saharan Africa.

Strive Masiyiwa, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Executive Chairman and Founder, said: “We are very pleased that IFC continues to support Liquid. The investments in our data centres and fibre broadband network will directly support our growth plans over the coming years by encouraging the adoption of new services such as cloud and other digital services, services that are critical in driving sustainable development across Africa.”

Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director, said: “Digital technologies are rapidly transforming how people, businesses, and governments communicate, transact, and access information and services.

“By working with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, we can help expand access to infrastructure and digital services that power Africa’s digital economy, creating new opportunities for growth and jobs. This is an essential element for Africa’s economic transformation and building back better.”

IFC’s latest investment in Liquid follows its investment in the company in February 2021 through Liquid’s bond placement on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange. The issuance raised $620 million.

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Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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