Today, as part of the G7-led Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership (PGII), USAID is proud to announce four new public-private partnerships under the Digital Invest program to support the connectivity infrastructure and digital financial services that strengthen openness, inclusion, and secure digital ecosystems in emerging markets.
Digital Invest is a blended finance program that supports fund managers, project developers and other private sector partners seeking to accelerate sustainable market growth for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and FinTech companies (fintechs) that bridge the digital divide by traditionally serving excluded communities in developing markets.
The program is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership and is implemented by USAID in accordance with the Agency’s Digital Strategy. This year, USAID will launch the following new partnerships, expanding and diversifying the Digital Invest portfolio with new, innovative approaches to supporting digital infrastructure and service providers in developing markets:
- CSquared, an Africa-based technology company specializing in broadband-enabling infrastructure, is building a 350-kilometre open-access fiber optic backbone network in Liberia to provide transformative network capacity to ISPs and mobile network operators . As a result, it will bring quality internet access to as many as one million people in Liberia.
- Microsoft Airband is supporting the development and launch of a global incentive fund, managed by Resonance, for ISPs providing digital access to community institutions such as clinics, schools and local governments.
- Modus Capital launches venture capital creation program for fintech start-ups that improve the financial well-being of underserved populations in Egypt, leveraging the capital platform’s infrastructure and best practices -venture of Modus, comprising venture capital funds, venture capital builders and a corporate innovation arm.
- SIMA Funds, an impact investing company, is launching a new crowdfunding platform, Sow Good Investments, which will catalyze U.S. retail investments in fintech microfinance institutions and pay-as-you-go solar finance and distribution companies operating across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.