Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has announced that it is investing 8-billion Egyptian Pounds ($400m US Dollars) in Egypt over the next three years.
This is part of a major partnership with Telecom Egypt which includes network infrastructure and data centres.
The agreement was signed by Dr Amr Talaat, The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technolog,y and group executive chairman of Liquid Telecom’s parent company Econet, Strive Masiyiwa. It was witnessed by Dr Sahar Nasr, Egyptian minister of investment and international cooperation.
Telecom Egypt will use the network to connect Egyptian businesses to the rest of Africa, whilst also partnering with Liquid Telecom to build data centres across Egypt. Following an initial investment of $50-million in data centres and cloud services, Liquid Telecom plans to invest an additional $350-million in broadband and financial inclusion initiatives, as well as high capacity data centres. These will be similar to some of the best-in-class data centres in South Africa.
Liquid Telecom’s expanding network is almost 70,000km in length and is linked to more than 600 towns and cities in 13 countries across Africa. It is also part of the wider ‘One Africa’ broadband network which has been strongly supported by the African Union leadership and President Kagame, Chairman of the African Union. President El-Sisi welcomed the development as a major milestone in connecting the African continent with Egypt and said he would continue to push the initiative during his tenure next year as Chair of the AU’s 54 nation body.
This follows the signing of a landmark partnership agreement with Telecom Egypt to mark the completion of Liquid Telecom’s award winning ‘Cape to Cairo’ network. This network represents the first direct land-based terrestrial fibre link from Cape Town to Cairo.
The $400-million investment will enable Liquid Telecom to significantly expand its position as a connectivity and cloud solutions provider in North Africa, serving businesses in the region with world-class network and data centre services. Through its data centre offering, Africa Data Centres (ADC), Liquid Telecom is facilitating the growth of Africa’s cloud by providing a platform for cloud services to be delivered locally in many markets for the first time.
According to Masiyiwa, the next mission is to complete a link between Cairo and Dakar Senegal through Sudan, Chad, and Nigeria, as well as the rest of West Africa.
“We have already crossed Africa from East to West through Sudan and Chad. We are at the Nigerian border and we expect to reach Abuja by the end of January in time for the AU Summit. We want to reach Dakar before President El-Sisi finishes his term,” he says.