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 was contained in a press statement by Tariq Ahmed – Group Head of Corporate Communications.
The investment was announced during a signing ceremony between the two companies at the Africa 2018 Forum. It was signed by Ahmed El Beheiry, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt, and Strive Masiyiwa – Group Executive Chairman of Liquid Telecom’s parent company Econet. It was witnessed by Her Excellency Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and His Excellency, Dr Amr Talaat, The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The deal is part of a major partnership with Telecom Egypt which includes network infrastructure and data centres.
“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 $50m in data centres and cloud services, Liquid Telecom plans to invest an additional $350m 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 announced.
According to the Group Executive Chairman of Liquid Telecom’s parent company Econet, Mr Strive 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 said.
Mr Masiyiwa also acknowledged the support of President Kagame, adding: “It would have been impossible to reach this far so quickly without his support. He adopted this initiative as a key project during his tenure and has been highly supportive throughout its development. We know President El-Sisi will help us take it to the next level because he understands the vision of Africa.” Mr Masiyiwa expressed his appreciation for leadership support across the continent.
He said the ‘One Africa’ model could encourage other entrepreneurs to build projects in complementary sectors, such as rail and power. “We need to push the linkage of our continental power grids, and also rail and air transportation. Now is the time for bold initiatives to build intra-African trade and investment.”