At the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom partnered to complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.
Under the MoU, Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross-border interconnection – bringing together a 60,000km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt. The Cape to Cairo network – often referred to as “the One Africa” broadband network – has been in the making for over ten years and serves some of the largest global companies with some of the fastest network speeds on the continent.
The Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, Strive Masiyiwa, said “Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa. This network not only represents a remarkable engineering achievement that has overcome some of the most challenging distances and terrains on the continent, but it is also supporting the rise of Africa’s digital economies.”
Mr Masiyiwa also observed that: “Wherever the One Africa network has been completed we have seen a dramatic increase of data traffic between nations connected to it. We expect to see a lot of traffic between Egypt and the rest of Africa. Where there is improved communications, improved trade follows as well. We need to see more trade between African countries.”
As part of the strategic partnership, Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt will share network infrastructure and explore further areas of collaboration, including joint network services, a peering arrangement and a voice interconnection agreement.
“This MoU is a great step in our strategy to penetrate the African market and avail Telecom Egypt’s most advanced technology and global infrastructure services to customers across Africa. We look forward to working alongside Liquid Telecom to develop new network services and products that will help stimulate intra-regional trade,” said Ahmed El Beheiry, Telecom Egypt’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Telecom Egypt, is Egypt’s primary telephone company. It started in 1854 with the first telegraph line in Egypt. In 1998, it replaced the former Arab Republic of Egypt National Telecommunication Organization (ARENTO) and has served Egyptian customers for over 160 years. It will offer Liquid Telecom unrivalled reach through interconnection services, while Egypt Telecom’s customers will benefit from access to Liquid Telecom’s pan-African fibre network.
The 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), which is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra-Africa and extra-African trade, was held from 11 to 14 July in Abuja, Nigeria. It brings together banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond.