Founded in 1997, pan-African telecom, Liquid Telecom, has had one of the busiest years ever. From the onset of 2018, the Mauritius domiciled Group has made a couple of major announcements.
In this article, we take stock of the company's most outstanding announcement's this year.
We have grouped them into four categories; Partnerships, Acquisitions, Organizations restructuring, and Connectivity.
Liquid telecom closed 2017 with two significant partnerships. The telecom partnered with The Innovation Village in Uganda in November as well as Zambia’s Bongo Hive in December. They ended up signing a mega-partnership with AfriLabs - a network of over 120 hubs across Africa - in July.
In the same month, Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom announced a MoU signing to “enable completion of the first fiber network from Cape Town to Cairo.” The Telecom was also named as a Microsoft Gold Partner for cloud productivity.
Yet, Liquid telecom had earlier entered 2018 by announcing a partnership with Strathmore Business School in Kenya to “drive Africa’s data revolution through new analytics center.” They followed this with a Sudatel partnership, in February, to “launch FTTH in Sudan”.
In April, they partnered with Serianu to “tighten pan-African cybersecurity”. They also partnered with Impact Hub Kigali to "nurture digital innovation in Rwanda”.
Also read: The IFC is considering a $3M equity investment into Nigeria’s Kobo360
While, in May, they formed a partnership with China Telecom Global “to step up network collaboration between Africa and Asia”.
Liquid telecom wrote in the press release: “China Telecom Global has already established a Point-of-Presence (PoP) at Liquid Telecom’s East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, and will establish further PoPs at its data center facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. CTG and Liquid Telecom will also continue to explore joint service opportunities under the partnership.”
Unlike partnerships, Liquid hasn’t been quick to snatch other businesses. But, in mid-October, the company finalized its acquisition of the Zambian Subsidiary, CEC Liquid Telecom.
“Liquid Telecom has completed the acquisition of the remaining 50 percent stake in its Zambian subsidiary, CEC Liquid Telecom, from Copperbelt Energy Corporation PLC,” they wrote in the press release.
Liquid Telecom and CEC first entered into the joint venture in 2011.
Ever since the company announced the departure of Kyle Whitehill from Liquid Telecom South Africa in February 2018, they have been on a recruitment craze. The company is restructuring to an org chart that looks like most pan-African banks and telecoms.
The company then appointed Reshaad Sha as CEO for Liquid Telecom South Africa in April.
In May, Liquid Telecom appointed Phil Moses as the Group CFO. He replaced Kate Hennessy, who the company said would “continue to serve in an advisory role to the Group CEO and senior finance team.”
In July, they introduced a new position in the group by appointing Ahmad Mokhles as the Group COO. While Stephane Duproz was appointed to head Africa Data Centres (ADC).
Recently, in October, Adil Youssefi was promoted from CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya to Regional CEO of East Africa. And Wellington Makamure from CEO of Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe to Regional CEO of Southern Africa. Both positions are new in the group.
Yet, it was also reported that the company is also cutting some jobs along the way. At the beginning of October, Liquid Telecom South Africa pointed it out.
The company announced a new “digitally-enhanced operating model." This includes the automation of many tasks for which people are currently responsible.” Implying that many jobs are likely to be cut once this is rolled out across their different markets.
Most of the partnerships that liquid telecom has secured have been around connectivity. The notable one being with Telecom Egypt in July. This enabled the company to complete the first fiber network from Cape Town to Cairo.
In the same month of July, the telecom installed a 24-meter communications tower at Sauti Kuu Foundation (SKF) in Alego K’Ogelo village, Kenya. This created the “capacity to connect thousands more Siaya residents to high-speed internet.”
The company also announced the “first Microsoft ExpressRoute within Africa”.
According to Liquid telecom, this “allows businesses to establish private connections to Azure because, before, customers could only access ExpressRoute via peering locations in Europe.”
In August, they announced a partnership with Sigfox, to build and deploy a nationwide IoT network covering up to 85% of the Kenyan population. The company said that the “new base stations will be connected to Liquid Telecom's fiber network, to deliver guaranteed reliability and speed.”
While, in February, they announced the opening of Africa Data Centers in South Africa. They followed this up with opening another data center in Nairobi in April.