IFC — a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets – has announced that it is expanding its relationship with West Indian Ocean Cable Company Holding (WIOCC Group), a leading digital connectivity and infrastructure provider in Africa, with a $30 million equity investment.
The new investment will support WIOCC Group’s continued rollout of terrestrial fibre optic networks, investment in new subsea cables, and the launch of world-class, open-access core and edge data centre infrastructure across the continent.
WIOCC offers connectivity services through its extensive open-access, carrier-neutral digital infrastructure to cloud operators, content providers, broadband and mobile operators and ISPs across Africa. It is also a strategic investor in hyperscale terrestrial networks, and in multiple subsea cables including 2Africa, EASSy, Equiano and WACS as well as establishing a rapidly growing data centre footprint in Africa,
IFC’s equity investment builds on its previous financing to WIOCC Group, in the form of a $20 million loan issued in 2020 via IFC’s fast-track Covid-19 financing facility, which was set up to help sustain economies and preserve jobs during the pandemic crisis.
In the past fiscal year, ending in June 2022, IFC invested $1.3 billion in digital infrastructure, with over half of those investments taking place in Africa’s telecommunications, media and technology sectors.
IFC’s digital infrastructure strategy in Africa is aimed at enabling reliable and affordable connectivity. This includes investing in the growth of independent tower operators, data centres and broadband, as well as supporting mobile operators, with an emphasis on supporting expanded connectivity in fragile and conflict situations (FCS) and low-Income International Development Association countries (LIC-IDA).