Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, PIDG, and Ninety One Commit $31 Million to Paratus Group for Fibre and Data Centre Expansion

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The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), along with infrastructure development organization Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and fund manager Ninety One, has committed a $31 million debt facility to Paratus Group. The funding will support the expansion of Paratus’s fibre and data centre business over the next three years. The investment aims to strengthen Africa’s core digital infrastructure, contributing to the continent’s economic advancement. Paratus plans to expand its fibre business with three new routes connecting key locations and enhance last-mile connectivity, introducing more reliable internet services across six African countries.

Key Points:

  1. Investment Details:
    • The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), PIDG, and Ninety One have committed a $31 million debt facility to Paratus Group.
    • The funding will support the expansion of Paratus’s fibre and data centre business over the next three years.
  2. Fibre Expansion Projects:
    • Paratus plans to expand its fibre business with three new routes connecting Walvis Bay-Johannesburg-Maputo, Brazzaville-Johannesburg-Maputo, and Luanda-Lusaka-Dar Es Salaam.
    • The fibre network expansion will cover over 10,000 km, linking the West and East African coasts and enhancing connectivity, data transmission, and access to digital services.
  3. Last-Mile Connectivity and Data Centres:
    • The debt facility will enhance last-mile connectivity and introduce more reliable internet services across Angola, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.
    • The investment will finance the construction of Angola’s first Tier 4 data centre, positioning Paratus’s network as a key regional hub.
  4. Digital Infrastructure Impact:
    • The investment contributes to strengthening Africa’s core digital infrastructure, considered fundamental for building more advanced economies.
    • Paratus emphasizes the importance of facilitating growth in key markets and expanding reliable data connections to support the continent’s entrepreneurs and high-growth businesses.
  5. Universal Broadband Access Goal:
    • The investment aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, aiming to build resilient infrastructure and create digitally-enabled economic opportunities.
    • Building world-class digital infrastructure is seen as crucial to achieving universal broadband access in Africa by connecting 1.1 billion new unique users by 2030.
  6. EAIF’s Structuring Expertise:
    • EAIF’s structuring expertise and ability to mobilize private capital into digital infrastructure in emerging economies are highlighted as key factors in facilitating the financing.
  7. Collaborative Partnership:
    • Ninety One’s Africa Credit Opportunities and EAIF collaborate in a partnership designed to deliver high-impact infrastructure projects in Africa.
  8. Market Signal and Inclusive Growth:
    • The commitment by EAIF and Ninety One sends a positive signal to the market, reinforcing the mission to support a more connected and technologically advanced Africa.
    • The investment is expected to contribute to development and inclusive growth while maximizing entrepreneurial opportunities.

Conclusion:
The commitment of a $31 million debt facility by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, PIDG, and Ninety One to Paratus Group reflects a significant investment in expanding Africa’s digital infrastructure. The funding will support the expansion of fibre routes, enhance last-mile connectivity, and finance the construction of a key data centre in Angola. This investment aligns with broader goals, including achieving universal broadband access, contributing to sustainable development, and fostering inclusive growth. As the continent aims to connect more users and advance its digital capabilities, such investments play a crucial role in building resilient and impactful infrastructure in Africa.

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