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AFC Leads the Financing of a Pan-African Submarine Cable System

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and other investors have closed an equity financing deal for the Main-One Submarine Optical Fiber Cable System.

AFC is one of the largest investors in the USD240million African led project. Debt finance for the project is being provided by a consortium of development finance institutions led by the African Development Bank and by a group of Nigerian banks.

The Main-One Cable System is an undersea fiber optic cable system that will provide much needed telecommunications capacity and link countries on the West Coast of Africa to Europe and other parts of the world. The project consists of approximately 7000 km of cable between Portugal and Nigeria with branching units to the Canary Islands, Morocco, Senegal, C'te d'Ivoire and Ghana.

The Main-One Cable will deliver 1.92Tbps of bandwidth - equivalent to ten times the available capacity of the existing fiber optic cable serving the west coast of Africa and approximately two hundred times the satellite capacity currently available across Sub-Saharan Africa. The service will operate on an open access basis to telecommunications, internet, and data providers in West Africa.

When it comes on-stream in 2010, Main-One will improve access to the internet and vital telecommunications services to over two hundred and fifty (250) million people in West Africa whilst also lowering associated communication costs in the region. A second phase of the project that will extend connectivity to South Africa is anticipated.