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A financing package from IFC and Proparco is set to support the expansion strategy of digital infrastructure provider WIOCC Group in three African countries.

This funding will bolster the continent’s digital infrastructure and connectivity, promoting economic growth.

The package comprises loans totaling US$10mn and ZAR 200 million (approx. US$11mn) from IFC, part of the World Bank Group, and US$20mn from Proparco, a development finance institution affiliated with the Agence Française de Développement Group. Additionally, WIOCC anticipates securing another US$10mn loan from RMB in the coming weeks to further its expansion in Nigeria. The funds will enable WIOCC Group to enhance its core and edge data centres in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and South Africa to meet the increasing demand for colocation and other data centre services. Furthermore, it will expand its fibre networks, helping to bridge the digital divide and fostering economic growth across Africa.

Sustainable growth how?

The financing is structured as sustainability-linked debt, with interest rates tied to WIOCC's commitment to enhancing the energy efficiency of its data centres and achieving EDGE green building certification. EDGE, an innovation by IFC, simplifies the design and certification of resource-efficient and zero-carbon buildings.

We are excited to conclude this next stage of our capital raise, which will enable significant expansion, adding further capacity to our open-access data centre operation and extending open-access hyperscale national, international, and metro connectivity across our key markets in Nigeria, southern Africa, the DRC and Greater East and Central Africa,” said Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC Group. “Our policy of continual investment in infrastructure to create Africa’s first, truly open-access interconnected digital ecosystem means ongoing investment for growth, ensuring readiness to meet the future demands of our clients’ customers throughout Africa.”

“The Agence Française de Développement Group have been supporting WIOCC since its inception back in 2007,” said Ariane Ducreux, head of energy, digital and infrastructure at PROPARCO. “We are very proud to pursue this long-term partnership by supporting the expansion of the Open Access Data Centres’ activities in Nigeria, South Africa, DRC and beyond. Truly neutral and open-access data centres are the cornerstone of a diversified digital ecosystem. Local data storage and processing capacity are also vital for the resilience of Africa’s digital network, as recent outages have demonstrated. The sustainability-linked structure of this new financing, along with technical assistance support, also aims to incentivise the rollout of energy and water efficient data centres, while adapting implementations to the specs of each site environment.”

“Our long-standing partnership with WIOCC of more than 15 years demonstrates IFC’s commitment to increasing affordable and reliable digital connectivity in Africa through shared infrastructure. This new debt facility will help WIOCC fulfil its ambition to establish an integrated, open-access, core-to-edge cloud ecosystem throughout the African continent, which is critical to bridge the digital divide,” said Bertrand de la Borde, IFC global industry director of infrastructure.

“RMB is thrilled to be a Strategic Banking Partner to WIOCC. Digital Infrastructure is one of our core sectors of expertise as a Bank. As such, we are excited at the opportunity to support this deal and remain committed to partnering with WIOCC on its growth journey across the continent,” said Chidi Iwuchukwu (head of investment banking, broader Africa - RMB).

Since its inception in 2007, WIOCC has been investing in Africa's digital backbone, delivering open-access infrastructure to meet the growing demand for reliable connectivity solutions throughout the continent.

As WIOCC Group continues to transform digital Africa, this latest capital raise signifies a major milestone in its journey towards building a more connected Africa, fostering long-term partnerships and sustainability.

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