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Liquid details Nigeria datacentre plans

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Africa , 15 Mar 2021

Pan African technology and internet group, Liquid has laid out of 5000Km of digital fibre in the Democratic Republic of Congo and plans to establish a large datacentre in Nigeria in the next few months.

Executives from the company said the DRC digital fibre will be launched tomorrow and cements the company’s transition into a broader technology solutions firm after relaunching to Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT).

The firm has datacentre, fibre internet and cloud computing services in several African countries and is seeking to expand further.

“Tomorrow (16 March) we are launching in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We will launch a 2300 kilometre digital fibre from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi.

“All in all we are launching a 5000 kilometre digital corridor in the DRC tomorrow,” said Ahmed Mokhles, Group Chief Operations Officer.

The company - which recently closed a bond issue to raise new capital for expansion and to re-finance debt instruments - is seeking to capitalise on the Africa’s intensified focus on digital transformation, fuelled by COVID-19.

Nick Rudnick, Group CEO, said the datacentre being constructed in Nigeria will be “ready in the next few months” and described the market as very important to the company.

“Nigeria is going to have one of the largest datacentres in Africa. We have also committed to expanding our network in addition to what we already have. As African economies start to recover from COVID-19, that recovery will be digital-led and any economies that will emerge stronger and resilient will be able to do that through digital technologies.”

In South Africa, Zimbabwe and other regional markets that have power challenges, the company relies on alternative power solutions including solar and diesel generators.

Although executives are bullish about the prospects for the company, analysts at ratings agency, Fitch say high risk scenarios for the company include currency volatility in South Africa and the holding up of about US$30-million in cash in Zimbabwe, a country facing foreign currency challenges.

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