Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) has announced a new collaboration to deliver internet access to 20 million underserved people in Africa by the end of 2025.
LIT, in a press statement issued on Thursday, said the internet access would be provided in collaboration with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft).
APO Group, a communication consultant e-mailed the statement to The NewsZenith on Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Working with Microsoft’s Airband initiative, the new collaboration will allow for increased proliferation of high-speed connectivity to parts of Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
“The partnership will initially target the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.
Together, both LIT and Microsoft will empower individuals and businesses in some of the United Nations’ least-developed countries.
This is to help bridge the digital divide and assist in transitioning more African countries into the digital economy.
“Access to high-speed connectivity is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.
“With a 100,000-kilometres fibre backbone across the continent, LIT is positioned to bring high-speed connectivity to the remotest of communities.
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“Our vision is to create a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind.
“This is one more investment from us to realise the vision,” Nic Rudnick, Group Deputy Chairman of LIT said.
He said they would discuss this initiative at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5).
Quoting the International Telecommunication Union, LIT said roughly 2.7 billion people globally remain unconnected.
“This is because it’s either unavailable or they can’t afford it.”
“Rural areas around the world are disadvantaged
“This is as traditional telecom infrastructure fails to go the final mile in low-density regions.
“Internet access is a fundamental right, enabling economic opportunity and development.
“This new collaboration with LIT builds upon our existing collaboration to catalyse economic growth and development in Africa.
“It will enable us to accelerate efforts to extend high-speed internet to 250 million people by the end of 2025.
“This is including 100 million in Africa,” Vickie Robinson, General Manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative said.
“We know strategic partnerships are key to advancing access to connectivity and digital equity, especially in world’s most critical markets.”
Microsoft’s Airband Initiative partners with a wide-ranging ecosystem of organisations to design, implement and support programmes that deliver unique connectivity solutions designed for local communities and their challenges.
This includes working with broadband providers, local ISPs, energy partners, international organisations and local governments to deliver internet access in unserved or underserved communities worldwide.
While the accelerated adoption of digital technologies on the continent has increased exponentially, it has also exacerbated the digital divide in Africa.
None of these technologies can be optimally used unless Africans have access to high-speed connectivity.
Microsoft and Liquid efforts will play a critical role in helping to secure the future of Africans on the continent.
This will thus pave the way for a true, digitally inclusive economy.
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 100,000-kilometre-long fibre broadband network and satellite connectivity that provides high-speed access to the Internet anywhere in Africa.
It is also leveraging its digital network to provide cloud and cyber security solutions through strategic partnerships with leading global players.
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