IFC, Google to in­vest $100mn to im­prove broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity in Africa

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Development -

The In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion in part­ner­ship with Google, Con­ver­gence Part­ners, and Mit­sui & Co. have agreed to in­vest up to $100 mil­lion in CSquared – a com­pany fo­cused on de­ploy­ing whole­sale fiber op­tic net­works across Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.

The Wash­ing­ton D.C.-based mul­ti­lat­eral lender said the in­vest­ment will help to im­prove broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity in the re­gion, where the lack of de­pend­able in­ter­net ac­cess im­pairs eco­nomic growth, com­pet­i­tive­ness, and the de­vel­op­ment of ba­sic ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to the IFC, Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa needs about 500,000 ex­tra kilo­me­ters of fi­bre op­tic to de­liver bet­ter broad­band pen­e­tra­tion for its bur­geon­ing pop­u­la­tion. But fi­bre op­tic ca­bles are ex­pen­sive, with just one kilo­me­ter of cable cost­ing be­tween $15,000 and $30,000.

CSquared's busi­ness model, how­ever, de­ploys and op­er­ates fi­bre op­tic in­fra­struc­ture on a shared ba­sis, help­ing to lower in­stal­la­tion and con­sumer costs. The com­pany aims to of­fer high-qual­ity, af­ford­able whole­sale ser­vices to all li­censed op­er­a­tors.

Mor­gan Stan­ley’s head of­fice, New York

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