The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will inject $25 million into a new sea cable project that the Western Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) is executing.
IFC’s investment will be in form of equity to partly fund the $235 million new sea cable project located in the east and west coast of Africa and the development of strategically located data centres across the continent.
Telkom Kenya owns nine per cent stake in WIOCC, making it among the largest shareholders in the company. George Mokogi Telco’s Managing Director for carrier services division sits on WIOCC board.
WIOCC included the project as part of the financial years 2019 to 2021 capital expenditure plan which means IFC funding will boost the plan whose cost was mainly to be bared by the shareholders.
World Bank investment arm said with IFC joining it is expected to provide equity that is not available in the market and provide knowledge and capabilities that will contribute to development impact.
According to IFC, the project is expected to improve the quality and affordability of broadband Internet access by increasing the capacity of network interconnection. It added that the project will also result in higher data hosting capacity by increasing the availability of onshore data centres capacity.
IFC further added that the project is also expected to contribute to systemic market impacts by increasing the competitiveness of the markets for broadband Internet access and digital data hosting across Sub-Saharan Africa
There are other African telecommunication companies with a similar stake as Telkom like Dalkom Somalia Limited, Libyan Post Telecom, Djibouti Telecom, Telecomunicações de Mozambique, Uganda Telecom and Zanzibar Telecom Public Limited Company.
Western Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) is recognized as Africa’s carriers’ carrier offering carriers connectivity to over 500 locations across 30 African countries. It is a private company jointly owned by 14 African telecommunication operators. The Company runs as a wholesaler, offering connectivity to over 20 countries in Africa.
WIOCC gets its support from International Finance Corporation (IFC), African Development Bank (AfDB), French Development Bank (AFD), German Development Bank (KfW) and European Investment Bank (EIB).