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White & Case advises Africa50 on Bayobab partnership to develop Project East2West

Press Release
1 min read

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Africa50 on a partnership with Bayobab to develop Project East2West, a terrestrial fibre optic cable network connecting the eastern shores of Africa to those on the continent's west.

"This is a significant project, which once completed will improve Africa's internet capacity and unlock its digital potential," said White & Case partner and Head of the Firm's Africa Practice Mukund Dhar, who co-led the Firm's deal team. "Project East2West showcases the enormous impact that Africa50 is having across the continent."

The partnership will invest up to US$320 million connecting ten African countries over the years 2023, 2024 and 2025. The new network will offer substantial improvements in data traffic for internet service providers, mobile network operators and hyperscalers operating in these countries. It will also bridge the bottlenecks in global internet traffic going in and out of Africa. Project East2West will improve latency by almost two-thirds.

Africa50 is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa's growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalysing public sector capital and mobilising private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact. Africa50 currently has 34 shareholders, comprised of 31 African countries.

Bayobab, previously known as MTN GlobalConnect, is a pan-African digital connectivity solutions company founded in 2018 and wholly owned by MTN Group. This investment is within MTN's previously announced Ambition 2025 plans and will contribute to Bayobab reaching the Group's target of having 135,000 kilometres of proprietary fibre over the coming three years.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Mukund Dhar (London) and Marcus Booth (Dubai, London) and included local partner Fraser Galloway (Dubai), counsel Joanna Hayward (London) and associates Christopher Thorn, Thomas Jacques (both Dubai), Camille Fouque, Omar Sinaceur (both Paris) and Ruveena Kaliannan (London).

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