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The African boom in investment in communications infrastructure

The African boom in investment in communications infrastructure

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TMT Finance Africa 2019 returns to London on November 28 with a renewed agenda, investing in the next phase of digital infrastructure and the leadership strategies for growth and cross-border investments in Africa.

There will be over 70 TMT C-level key financial decision makers announced to speak from across telecoms, infrastructure, smart cities and fintech, with sessions from MTN, Orange, Csquared, Seacom, Standard Bank, Vodacom, Africa Data Centres and Dark Fibre Africa.

The increasing pressure on telcos to diversify revenue streams is expected to be one of the key driving factors for M&A transactions in Africa, according to Mohamed Dabbour, EVP, Head of Africa at Millicom.

“As organic growth can be slower, we’ll see telcos acquiring companies in other sectors such as fintech and digital services and technologies,” he said.

“The fintech industry remains very fragmented and keeps on attracting a large number of companies in Africa.”

Telecom infrastructure is another sector that has enjoyed a tremendous amount of activity over the past few years and it is expected to continue to do so due to the increasing demand for data.

“I believe we will continue to see infrastructure consolidation, as FTTH and FTTB gather more momentum in many African markets where fibre infrastructure is still developing,” added Byron Clatterbuck, CEO of South African submarine cable and fibre company SEACOM. 

“Data centres, both large and small, will continue to attract investment.”

A few select markets are underpinning the main bulk of transactions and investment activity across the region. South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are among the most active, while Ethiopia is opening its telecom market and is expecting new investors to target the country.

Stephane Duproz, CEO of Africa Data Centres, said: “Research suggests that African private equity activity has remained stable over the past seven years, which indicates that investors are confident in the long-term feasibility of the continent.”

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