IFC announces $35m equity investment to expand Africa’s ICT infrastructure

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on June 13, 2012 announced an equity investment of $35 million in the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund to support more rapid development of information and communications technologies infrastructure across Africa.

According to the World Bank Group member, the fund is expected to play an important development role in Africa, where ICT infrastructure bottlenecks impede the growth of business, and companies lack access to finance, especially risk capital and related expertise from investors that can help businesses succeed.

The IFC stated that the fund’s investment focus will be to address the lack of enabling infrastructure that provides quality, affordable communications services, especially broadband, across Africa.

“The fund aims to develop and invest in new wholesale, open access networks and related services, and will capitalize on the potential for communication technology platforms to deliver critical services such as banking, healthcare, education and government programs that improve living standards,” it said in a statement.

The IFC says the fund eventually aims to grow to $500 million as it will involve other investors, including local and international development finance institutions and banks.

The first closing of the Fund is scheduled for later in 2012, according to the IFC.

By Ekow Quandzie

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