Liquid Telecom is nothing if not ambitious. Identifying an opportunity to be the primary terrestrial link between Egypt (and, by extension, the Middle East) and the rest of Africa, Liquid Telecom has committed, as part of a partnership with Telecom Egypt, to invest $400 million in network infrastructure, data center facilities and supporting systems in Egypt during the next three years.
The two operators sealed a partnership agreement over the weekend, with Ahmed El Beheiry, Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt (below on the right), and Strive Masiyiwa, Group Executive Chairman of Liquid Telecom's parent company Econet (on the left), putting pen to paper.
Telecom Egypt plans to use the network built by Liquid Telecom to help connect Egyptian businesses to the rest of Africa: The two operators will also team up to build data centers in Egypt. Liquid says it has already invested $50 million in data center and cloud services infrastructure and that it will "invest an additional $350m in broadband and financial inclusion initiatives, as well as high capacity data centres."
According to Masiyiwa, the next mission is to complete a link between Cairo and Dakar, the capital of 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," he noted.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.
Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.
From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms
Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.
Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent