(Ecofin Agency) - Wholesale telecom capacity provider, West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), has raised $100 million to finance the development of its Internet connectivity offering in Africa. The company received a loan of $40 million from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and $60 million from Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD).
WIOCC, which holds a stake in the EASSy submarine optical fiber cable, offers a fully integrated submarine and terrestrial optical fiber network around and within the African continent. Its network extends over 55,000 km and interconnects 550 sites. The company provides end-to-end international connectivity in Africa.
With the new investment, WIOCC says it will increase its customer base, create a more competitive market, and help lower wholesale and retail prices on connectivity. It is also expected to support the creation of more than 200 direct jobs over the next 5 years. WIOCC also plans to develop professional computer training for women to further facilitate gender balance in its workforce.
According to Olivia Carballo, Director of Managers at Ninety-One, the entity that manages the EAIF, “the announcement of EAIF’s support for WIOCC marks the Fund’s third investment in the African telecommunications industry this year. WIOCC’s expansion will stimulate the enterprise and strengthen Africa’s digital infrastructure.”
“Growing Africa’s communications infrastructure is vital to its long-term economic development and in assisting recovery from the global downturn caused by Covid-19. WIOCC can play a key role in helping Africa rebuild,” she added.