British International Investment
20 January 2021

UK Foreign Secretary visits CDC investee in Kenya

Today, Dominic Raab the UK’s Foreign Secretary, visited the construction of a new commercial solar powered installation in Nairobi, developed by CDC partner Mettle Solar and Distributed Power Africa. This clean energy plant will deliver renewable power to Liquid Telecom’s local data centre. CDC invests in Liquid Telecom, committing $220 million over two years to expand digital connectivity across Africa. The telecoms firm is Africa’s largest independent fibre network. Since our initial investment, Liquid Telecom has become the first operator to connect Cape Town to Cairo adding 18,000km of fibre optic cable; is activating a new East-West link from Kinshasa to Mombasa and has scaled up its local data centres.

This solar powered instillation will provide clean, low-cost and reliable energy to Liquid’s data centre, reducing their reliance expensive and polluting fossil fuels. Liquid Telecom’s data centre will service the increasing demands for data storage and cloud-based applications across the continent. Currently, it is estimated that less than 20 per cent of potential telecommunications enterprise demand is being served in Africa.

Investing in Africa’s digital infrastructure is vital for building resilience within African economies and accelerating their growth. Improving access to affordable and quality internet is central to Africa’s development and economic growth, and a key part of UN Sustainable Development Goal 9.

Gridworks, a CDC backed company that invests in electricity networks across Africa, is an investor in Mettle Solar Investments, a leading pan-African commercial and industrial solar platform company that provides a variety of affordable renewable energy solutions to commercial and industrial customers.

You can learn more about Liquid Telecom here.

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