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26 Apr 2023

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Africa on Center Stage as Convergence Partners Funds Digital Infrastructure

Convergence Partners has announced from its office in Mauritius a $10 million stake in 42Markets Group, an incubator and investor that focuses on Africa. The investment is being done through the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF), a $296M private equity fund that was announced in January, focused on Digital Infrastructure across sub-Saharan Africa, according to Convergence.

Andries Brink, Group CEO of 42Markets Group said, “In a very real sense, 42Markets companies are the 'over-the-top' capital enablers,on the infrastructure that Convergence Partners has established. We are excited about working with them to bring real and sustainable change.”

“(The investment) aligns perfectly with our vision of utilizing technology to bridge the digital divide and improve access for those in need. As blockchain adoption (in particular) on the Continent continues to grow, we look forward to embarking on this journey with 42Markets to democratize financial markets and enhance accessibility”, said Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners.

Fund Launched in 2020
The CPDIF was launched in June 2020, with a first close of $120m in July 2021. The Fund's investments in digital infrastructure across sub-Saharan Africa include fiber networks, data centers, wireless, towers, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, according to Convergence. The company has also said that the CPDIF “is also aimed at developing and supporting initiatives that promote access to education, financial services, healthcare, and other essential services through digital technologies.”

Africa the Topic of IDCA Boardroom
IDCA Smart Nations Media and Research recently focused on Africa in a live IDCA Boardroom meeting broadcast from London. Participants noted the importance of Africa-based strategy and initiatives, without having to rely on the United States and other large, foreign players to stimulate development.

Africa Featured in IDCA Research
Africa was also featured in the IDCA Smart Nations EESG Digital Readiness Index of Nations report, issued in January. There is a wide disparity among the continent's nation with their development and use of Digital Infrastructure, particularly in the areas of server density, internet access, and the use of sustainable energy.

A broad range of results thus emerge from the 37 African nations surveyed among the 147 nations encompassed in the Index – overall scores range from Rwanda at 60 and Ethiopia at 54 (on a 0-100) scale, to South Sudan at 6 an Equatorial Guinea at 5. Rwanda (at 20th among the 147 nations) and Ethiopia (34th) rank quite well, while the latter two nations trail the rest of the world.

IDCA conducts custom research and assessments for specific countries and regions within Africa, upon request.

Screen grab from IDCA.

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