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IFC and RMB collaborate with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to speed up digital transformation in South Africa

Liquid Intelligent Technologies (https://www.Liquid.Tech), a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group, will receive R450 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) each for its South African operations. The total investment of R900 million will support universal and affordable broadband access in the Eastern Cape Fibre Project.

“The support and investment we have received from IFC and RMB underscores our collective commitment to advancing South Africa’s broadband connectivity and uplifting the communities in which we do business. Not only will this investment from RMB and IFC help fund the expansion of our fibre backbone network in the Eastern Cape, but also help us upskill more South Africans and create employment. We believe this collaboration sets a new benchmark for the financing and development of digital infrastructure in South Africa,” says Hardy Pemhiwa, Group Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

“Digital connectivity that is inclusive and accessible is a fundamental driver of economic growth and an informed society,” says Sarvesh Suri, IFC’s Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure and Natural Resources, Africa. “Through our partnership with Liquid South Africa, we are committed to narrowing the digital divide in the Eastern Cape and expanding internet access to underserved areas.”

The Eastern Cape is one of the least connected regions in South Africa. Only 65% of households have internet access, and only 5% have access from home. This is twice as low as the average for South Africa, where 10% of the total population has internet access from home.

“RMB is proud to have been the co-arranger and funder for the Eastern Cape Fibre Project to help enable access to information communication technology for communities in the province. All people should have access to the power of the digital world to better their lives. We believe in partnering with our clients who are vested in digital inclusion to narrow the digital divide and counteract the negative social consequences of digital exclusion. We look forward to working on similar transactions across the continent,” says Nana Phiri: Head of Corporate Client Group.

Since its inception, the Eastern Cape Fibre Project has been a transformative initiative. It has played a significant role in reiterating that Liquid South Africa is aligned with the government in meeting its 2030 NDP objective of 100% broadband coverage. Liquid SA has invested heavily in EC since then across a raft of initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and empowering citizens with digital skills, even in the farthest part of the province. It has invested over R400 million into extending its operations in the region, connecting more than 1,300 government buildings, and creating over 600 permanent and temporary jobs.

The project will significantly increase access to high-quality digital connectivity for businesses and other organisations. As high-speed Internet infrastructure expands, it will create jobs and stimulate economic growth. Beyond the immediate project, the investment will strengthen the integration of the digital ecosystem in South Africa, facilitating e-government services and connecting underserved areas.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies looks forward to this investment’s tremendous impact on the country’s digital future and society. This investment is a major milestone in realising a digitally connected Africa that is empowered through connectivity, in which no one is left behind.

The investment from the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the latest contribution to the collaboration it entered into with Liquid, which is aimed at increasing digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and supporting the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

About Liquid Intelligent Technologies:
Liquid Intelligent Technologies is a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group with operations in over 25 countries in Africa. Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading provider of pan-African digital infrastructure with a 110,000 km-long fibre broadband network and satellite connectivity that provides high-speed access to the Internet anywhere in Africa. Liquid is also leveraging its digital network to provide Cloud and Cyber Security solutions through strategic partnerships with leading global players. Liquid is a comprehensive technology solutions group that provides customised digital solutions to public and private sector enterprises and SMEs across the continent. For more information, visit https://www.Liquid.Tech/.

About IFC:
IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2023, IFC committed a record $43.7 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit www.IFC.org.

Stay Connected with IFC on social media (https://apo-opa.co/46faOPY)

About RMB:
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a leading African corporate and investment bank (CIB) and part of the largest financial services group (by market capitalisation) in Africa – FirstRand Bank Limited (which is wholly owned by FirstRand Limited). We offer our clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking and principal investing solutions.

With a presence in 10 African countries, RMB has a significant footprint on the continent. RMB also has access to a network of retail banks, representative offices and branches across Africa, the UK, India and the US.

At RMB we are passionate about solving problems for our clients by asking the hard questions. We challenge accepted thinking. We analyse and seek solutions beyond the obvious. We are innovative in our thinking and turn challenges into opportunities, while delivering on Traditional values. Innovative ideas.

Our ability to think differently, our collaborative spirit, our client-centric solutions and our belief that great minds don’t always have to think alike, is what sets us apart.

For more information please visit: www.RMB.co.za

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