The International Financial Corporation has invested 16 per cent, equivalent to $100m in Thursday’s bond issued by a subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Limited to support broadband connectivity in Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, explained in a statement on Thursday that the support would allow the telecoms and technology solutions company to expand access to broadband Internet and digital and cloud services across Africa, further facilitating the growth of the continent’s digital economy.
“IFC played an anchor role and subscribed to 16 per cent of the bond, equivalent to $100m, which was listed on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange, on February 25, 2021. The issuance raised $620m,” IFC stated.
Broadband penetration is low across the continent, with a mobile broadband penetration rate of 34 per cent and fixed broadband penetration of less than five per cent in most countries across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.
Speaking on the IFC’s investment, the Interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer, Stephanie von Friedeburg, said, “Our best chance at ensuring much-needed internet access for everyone in Africa, from large corporates and small businesses to individuals, is to invest in digital infrastructure.
“Our investment in the Liquid Telecom bond will help the company free up capital to further expand broadband access across Africa, laying a solid foundation for a faster, more resilient recovery.”
Africa’s digital economy is projected to worth $180bn by 2025.
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