Liquid Telecom, the leading pan-African telecoms group, and Telecom Egypt (TE) announced at the 2018 annual meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will enable Liquid Telecom to soon 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 tTE’s network, via a new cross-border interconnection, bringing together a 60,000 km network that runs from Cape Town through all South, Central, and East African countries, and it has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt.
The Cape Town to Cairo network—often referred to as the “One Africa” broadband network—has been in the making for over 10 years and serves some of the largest global companies with some of the fastest network speeds on the continent.
Ahmed El Beheiry, TE’s managing director and CEO, said that the MoU is a great step in their strategy to penetrate the African market and avail TE’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,” he added.
Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairperson of Econet, said that completing the vision of building a single network running on land all the way from Cape Town to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa.
He added that 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.
“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,” he pointed out.
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.
TE will offer Liquid Telecom unrivalled reach through interconnection services, while Telecom Egypt 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 and extra-African trade, is being held this week 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.