OPIC commits $4.1m loan to support wireless internet expansion in Kenya
After an initial grant in 2013 from Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative and the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed a $4.1 million loan to support Mawingu Networks, a provider of solar-powered wireless Internet across rural Kenya.
It would be recalled that Mawingu Networks was able to establish its current operating model using an initial grant in 2013 from Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Mawingu had received equity funding from Angel Investor Jim Forster, Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., and Microsoft Corporation two years after their first phase of support. Using a network of solar-powered “nomadic” wireless internet stations, Mawingu provides last-mile connectivity access to areas that cannot economically access the internet. With Mawingu’s initial pilot operations, OPIC’s loan will allow a commercial expansion of a proven model to utilize existing technology of TV White Space (TVWS) connectivity for off-grid internet access. Read the full article in The Vanguard here: