International Finance Corporation(IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group has partnered with Liquid Intelligent Technologies- A South African technology group, to expand data centre capacity and fibre-optic cable connectivity in Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.
IFC’s equity and debt investments in Liquid Intelligent Technologies, which to date total approximately $250 million, will support the company to grow its hyper-scale data centre capacity in the 3 African Countries through its subsidiary, Africa Data Centres.
Africa’s population is rapidly expanding and becoming more urbanized thus data consumption is expected to grow strongly and with this comes the need for secure local data hosting.
The investment by IFC will also support Liquid Intelligent Technologies in the continued rollout of its fibre broadband network, which today covers more than 100,000 kilometres of sub-Saharan Africa.
This network will link businesses and individuals to the Internet across Africa and position Liquid intelligent Technologies to be at the forefront of Africa’s digital transformation.
IFC to support data centre and expansion of fibre broadband network
“We are very pleased that IFC continues to support Liquid. The investments in our data centers and fiber 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,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Executive Chairman and Founder.
“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,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.
Digital infrastructure is considered the backbone of any digital economy.
Sub-Saharan Africa needs around US$100 billion in investment to achieve universal, affordable, and high-quality broadband access by 2030, According to the Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development.
To achieve universal broadband access, Africa needs at least 250,000 kilometres of new fibre.
IFC’s digital strategy in Africa is aimed at enabling ubiquitous, reliable, and affordable connectivity. This includes investing in the growth of independent tower operators, data centres and broadband, as well as support to mobile operators primarily in fragile and conflict situations and low-Income countries.
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 US$620 million.