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Africa’s largest fibre company secures $840 million to boost internet connectivity

Liquid Telecom Limited, a fiber company owned by African telecom tycoon Strive Masiyiwa secures $840 million in a bond and loans to refinance debt and boost the continent’s digital infrastructure.

The financing includes a $620 million bind and $220 million in loans making it one of the largest dollar bond sales by an African telecoms company. Liquid Telecom Limited hopes to use the funds to roll out connectivity infrastructure in existing areas, and to expand its presence to other regions. 

According to Nic Rudnick, Liquid’s group chief executive officer he said “In the countries in which we operate there are great opportunities to address under-developed telecommunications and internet access, as well as to accelerate the adoption of digital and cloud-based services,” 

The investor, the International Finance Corporation, saw the opportunities that lie in boosting internet connectivity across Africa through increased network and infrastructure deployment estimates that the continent’s digital economy will be worth $180 billion by 2025, invested $100 million in the bond.

Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC’s chief operating officer, added that investment in infrastructure deployment is the best way to boost internet reach across the region, the fact that most of the region’s rural areas still lack internet connectivity is holding back funding platforms for the agricultural sector, a key poverty-alleviating industry for Africa.

Friedenburg concludes that “Our best chance at ensuring much-needed internet access for everyone in Africa is to invest in digital infrastructure,” such investment in the Liquid Telecom bond will help the company free up capital to further expand broadband access across Africa, with a more resilient recovery from the effect of coronavirus pandemic”.

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