Liquid Intelligent Technologies has partnered with French telecommunications giant Orange in a deal that seeks to improve connectivity and strengthen cybersecurity across Africa.
Liquid is leading pan-African connectivity, innovation and intelligent technology company founded by Zimbabwean telecom billionaire Strive Masiyiwa.
Liquid will gain access to Orange’s West African infrastructure, particularly Djoliba, a network of terrestrial and submarine fiber optic cables, launched in late 2020 in Mali, ICLG.com reported.
Djoliba (the first pan-West African fiber backbone) connects the capitals of Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.
Meanwhile, Orange will also harness Liquid’s 100,000 kilometers of cables across Africa.
“We’ve long been committed to providing digital services that allow our customers to grow their businesses and the larger African economy. Partnering with a provider like Orange strengthens this offering,” David Eurin, the chief executive of Liquid’s international wholesale business, known as Liquid Sea, said.
Internet connectivity in Africa is not evenly accessed across the board.
As of January 2021, Southern Africa was the region with the highest Internet penetration in Africa, at 62 percent, Statista reported.
The share of people using the Internet in this region was even above the world average (59.5 percent). Meanwhile, the lowest rates were recorded by East Africa at 24 percent and Central Africa at 26 percent.
Commenting on the partnership, Orange International Carriers CEO Emmanuel Rochas noted that the partnership “further demonstrates Orange’s commitment across Africa to deliver highly reliable connectivity to its customers” and the company’s unique expertise in cybersecurity.
Recently, Liquid launched its shortest terrestrial fiber route between Africa’s east and west coasts, which connected Mombasa in Kenya to Muanda in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is a new global Internet transit route between Asia and the United States through Africa, avoiding high-risk bottlenecks in the Middle East and Europe.