IFC invests USD 35mn to help improve Africas ICT infrastructure.

By bne IntelliNews June 15, 2012
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Banks private lending arm, will invest USD 35mn in the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund to support more rapid development of information and communications technologies (ICT) across Africa, investment management and advisory firm Convergence Partners said. Convergence Partners, which will manage the fund, said it is expected to play an important development role in Africa, where ICT infrastructure bottlenecks impede business growth. The investment focus of the fund will be to address the lack of enabling infrastructure that provides quality, affordable communications services, especially broadband. The fund will aim to develop and invest in new wholesale, open access networks and related services. It will capitalise on the potential for ICT platforms to deliver critical services such as banking, healthcare, education and government programs that contribute to improved living standards. The Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund will further spur Africas development. Access to communications helps improve economic competitiveness, facilitates efficient government services, increases the productivity of private businesses, and enhances living standards, Saleem Karimjee, IFC Senior Country Manager for Southern Africa, said in a statement. The fund aims to grow to USD 500mn and the partners hope to raise more capital into the project from local and international development finance institutions and banks later this year. Convergence Partners is focused on investments in the telecommunications, media and technology sector in emerging markets, with a principal focus on Africa.
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