South African Convergence Partners, which is owned by ICT industry veteran Andile Ngcaba, has teamed up with global tech giant with Google, International Finance Corporation and Mitsui to invest in CSquared, a broadband infrastructure company headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
The parties have signed an agreement to invest up to $100 million in CSquared’s existing metro fibre network operations in Uganda and Ghana, plus new markets in the future.
Convergence Partners’ investment will be housed in Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund (CPCIF), the only infrastructure fund dedicated solely to information and communications technology in Africa.
CSquared, initially started by Google as Project Link, is a carrier-neutral open access, a wholesale provider of high-speed metro fibre throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
It currently has high-quality fibre networks in Uganda (800kms in Kampala and Entebbe) and Ghana (840kms in Accra, Tema and Kumasi).
The introduction of the new partners will accelerate the growth of the existing operations and plans for expansion into further markets.
“CSquared is a perfect fit with Convergence Partners’ vision for expanding the reach of quality, affordable broadband to Africa,” says Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners.
“It’s disruptive model of deploying and operating infrastructure on an open access, shared basis will be instrumental in delivering commercial and developmental benefits through the unlocking of pervasive broadband access. The impact of broadband access as a catalyst for economic development is undeniable and well documented.”
He adds that the four-way partnership between Convergence Partners, Google, IFC and Mitsui represents like-minded investors and players with capability and experience in the ICT infrastructure space.
Convergence Partners is a pan-African ICT–focused private equity player, delivering enhanced investment returns while underpinning Continental development. Convergence Partners has a proven record of accomplishment of developing new investment opportunities as well as actively adding value to investments across the lifecycle of ICT assets.
As impact investors, Convergence Partners brings its skills, experience, and capital to accelerate ICT infrastructure development on the Continent, focusing on initiatives that increase the availability of communications, broadband services, and new technology offerings to the people of Africa. For more on Convergence Partners click here.
“We believe that together under CSquared, we can get more done to roll-out and operate affordable, high-speed, and reliable infrastructure to expand internet access in Africa,” Marian Croak, Vice-President at Google said.
“Project Link has demonstrated the impact of shared wholesale infrastructure, and we’re excited to see CSquared bring more infrastructure to more service providers and their customers.”