UK invests $180m in pan-African fiber optic network

African telecommunications group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet, has received $180 million in funding from a UK government  agency to finance  a fiber network project in central and western Africa. Digital infrastructure over the years have posed a major problem for Africa’s governments, people and  businesses, so improving access to affordable and quality internet is central to Africa’s development and economic growth. The funds comes from CDC Group (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation), a development finance institution owned by the UK government, and marks one of its largest ever investments.

Liquid Telecom provides colocation capacity through its data center arm, Africa Data Centre  and runs Africa’s most extensive fiber optic network, stretching from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern African countries, through to Sudan and Egypt.The company said the money will help accelerate the expansion of its network infrastructure, helping connect some of the continent’s most remote regions which confronts to the  vision of the company.

Once completed it will improve the current sate of fibre optic connection in the African continent thereby leading to a  significant economic and social benefits – from providing access to online educational resources to supporting national economies, creating more jobs and driving the adoption of new technologies.Earlier this year, Liquid Telecom announced it would spend $400 million over the next three years to improve its network and data centers in Egypt.