Microsoft says it’s partnering with a fiber-cable connectivity venture called Liquid Intelligent Technologies to bring high-speed internet access to an additional 20 million people in Africa by 2025.
The collaboration is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to help extend broadband coverage to 250 million people living in unserved and underserved areas of the world, including 100 million people in Africa.
Microsoft President Brad Smith announced the partnership with Liquid in advance of the Fifth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which gets underway next week in Doha, Qatar. Microsoft will co-chair the meeting’s Private Sector Forum.
“The private sector can plan an important role in creating opportunities for the 880 million people living in LDCs [least developed countries], where only 36% of the population uses the internet today, and it’s important for Microsoft to do its part,” Smith said in a blog posting.