“Telecommunications is critical for economic growth and development and in order to support the sector and drive productivity, AFC has developed an investment program for four sub-sectors in the telecommunication sector: data/broadband, tower companies, terrestrial fibre and efficiency”
Often described as “the last great, untapped telecommunications market,” at the end of 2013, sub-Saharan Africa had on aggregate the lowest mobile penetration rate of any region, at just under a third of the population.
The telecommunications sector is crucial for economic growth and development and is often viewed as a supporting factor in developing the transport and logistics sectors.
In Africa, rapid GDP growth and improved economic conditions have led to unprecedented growth in the telecommunication sector. Telecom operators and internet service providers are ramping up their investment plans for digital infrastructure and services across Africa as the reach of service and demand continue to grow. On the infrastructure side, operators are investing heavily to meet with demand. Despite improved connectivity, low coverage beyond urban areas means the telecom industry is yet to meet its full potential in rural and semi-urban environments.
Expanding connectivity and energy efficient equipment are predicted to be the main drivers of investment and deal activity in Sub Saharan Africa.
AFC has supported several companies in the telecoms sector. Our most significant investment in the sector has been the Main One Cable System, an undersea fibre optic cable system that links countries on the west coast of Africa to Europe and other parts of the world. This system delivers on an open access model with a bandwidth that is approximately 20 times the available satellite capacity across Sub-Saharan Africa.
AFC’s telecommunications projects include:
- MainOne cable system
- SAIF acquisition, South Africa
- I.H.S Towers
- MTN Nigeria