Liquid Telecom, a group owned by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, has inked a partnership with Telecom Egypt to invest about $400 million in data centers and network infrastructure in the North African country.
The deal, which was announced at the Africa 2018 forum conference in Sharm El-Sheikh city of Egypt, is part of Liquid Telecom’s Cape to Cairo network that connects 13 African countries with more than 60,000 kms of fibre-optic cabling.
Through this deal, Telecom Egypt will use the network to connect Egyptian businesses with African continent while it will partner with Liquid Telecom to build data centers within the country.
Liquid Telecom will invest an initial amount of $50 million in data centers and cloud services in Egypt, followed by an additional $350 million in broadband and financial inclusion initiatives along with high capacity data centers – bringing them in par with some of the best data centers in South Africa.
Cape to Cairo, a project that aims to establish a terrestrial network ranging from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt, has been in the works for the last decade. It aims to provide high speed internet to some of Africa’s business companies.
Dubbed ‘One Africa’ broadband network, the next phase of the project would be to connect Cairo with Dakar Senegal through Sudan, Chad and Nigeria.
“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,” said Masiyiwa.
Masiyiwa, 57, launched to fame when he started out on his own with mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in 1998- of which he owns just over 50% today. With a net worth of $2.4 billion, Masiyiwa entered Forbes’ list of African billionaires and was ranked the 14th richest man in the continent.