By AFC Press Release

Lagos - Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and other investors have closed an equity financing deal for the Main-One Submarine Optical Fiber Cable System. 

AFC is one of the largest investors in the USD240million African led project.  Debt finance for the project is being provided by a consortium of development finance institutions led by the African Development Bank and by a group of Nigerian banks.

The Main-One Cable System is an undersea fiber optic cable system that will provide much needed telecommunications capacity and link countries on the West Coast of Africa to Europe and other parts of the world. The project consists of approximately 7000 km of cable between Portugal and Nigeria with branching units to the Canary Islands, Morocco, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. 

The Main-One Cable will deliver 1.92Tbps of bandwidth – equivalent to ten times the available capacity of the existing fiber optic cable serving the west coast of Africa and approximately two hundred times the satellite capacity currently available across Sub-Saharan Africa. The service will operate on an open access basis to telecommunications, internet, and data providers in West Africa. 

When it comes on-stream in 2010, Main-One will improve access to the internet and vital telecommunications services to over two hundred and fifty (250) million people in West Africa whilst also lowering associated communication costs in the region. A second phase of the project that will extend connectivity to South Africa is anticipated.

Low internet penetration rates, poor services and relatively high costs associated with telecommunications services in Africa is made worse by inadequate bandwidth capacity. Main-One will address this issue and contribute to the evolution of the West African telecommunications industry. It will act as a catalyst for business efficiency and competitiveness hence aiding the economic development of the region.  Ms. Funke Opeke, the CEO of Main Street Technologies, the Sponsor Company noted that, “AFC brought a combination of technical, institutional, regional and financial skills into the project. The participation of AFC enhanced the ability of the project to complete the necessary financing for its implementation.” 

Mr. Andrew Alli, the CEO of AFC noted that “AFC is proud to be a partner in the Main-One submarine cable system project, an African conceived and driven project which will open and integrate the markets of the continent. The project will provide much needed bandwidth for wider provision of affordable and cost effective telecommunications and internet services in West Africa, with specific focus on Nigeria and Ghana. The second phase to South Africa will ensure that such benefits also accrue to Southern Africa.  AFC was formed principally to spearhead infrastructure projects of this nature and the achievement of financing for the project is a manifestation of the vision and objectives of the Corporation” 

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is an African led financial institution with the mission to improve African economies by proactively creating, developing and financing infrastructure, industrial and financial assets.