Rwanda is expected to be linked to one of the leading suppliers of high speed internet on the continent.
This has been made possible through a major deal reached between Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt during the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
The deal will enable Liquid Telecom to shortly complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.
Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross border interconnection – bringing together a 60,000km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt.
“Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet.
He added that this network not only represents a remarkable engineering achievement that has overcome some of the most challenging distances and terrains on the continent, but it is also supporting the rise of Africa’s digital economies.
In this partnership, Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt will share network infrastructure and explore further areas of collaboration, including joint network services, a peering arrangement and a voice interconnection agreement.
“Wherever the One Africa network has been completed we have seen dramatic increase of data traffic between nations connected to it,” Masiyiwa said.
Under this deal, Masiyiwa said that a lot of traffic is expected between Egypt and the rest of Africa. Where there is improved communications, improved trade follows as well.
“We need to see more trade between African countries,” he said.
“The roll-out of infrastructure, particularly high-speed networks, is crucial for stimulating intraregional trade,” said Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.
He explained that the Cape to Cairo network sets a new standard for Africa and will open-up new trade opportunities across the region.
“Our congratulations to Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom for reaching an agreement to complete the Cape to Cairo network,” Dr. Oramah said.