Econet creates integrated tech firm Cassava

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 11 Nov 2021
Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Cassava Technologies.
Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Cassava Technologies.

Pan-African telecoms group Econet has created Cassava Technologies, which will house the group’s fibre broadband networks, data centres, cyber security, fintech and digital platforms.

With the launch, Cassava Technologies is now among parent company Econet’s established technology brands, including Africa’s largest fibre company Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

Midrand-based Liquid owns and operates over 70 000 fibre-optic route kilometres across 13 central, eastern and southern African regions, in addition to South Africa, five data centres and satellite earth stations.

The fibre company offers services across wholesale data, enterprise, wholesale voice and retail segments, as well as new technology solutions.

Cassava Technologies now operates the largest independent Pan-African terrestrial fibre broadband network, covering more than 300 towns and cities across Africa.

Other Econet companies that will be housed under Cassava Technologies are Africa Data Centres, Liquid Cloud, Sasai Fintech, Vaya Technologies and Distributed Power Technologies.

In a statement, the group says Econet’s mobile telecoms businesses, which include Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Econet LEO (Burundi), Econet Telecom Lesotho, Econet’s investment in Mascom Wireless Botswana, and Econet’s mobile money business, EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe, are unaffected and will continue to operate under the Econet Wireless brand.

Cassava Technologies will be headquartered in London, and Econet says the company aims to empower individuals and businesses in Africa through digital solutions which drive the vision of a digitally-connected future.

In a statement, Econet says: “With a total projected population of 1.5 billion and approximately 60% of the population expected to be urbanised by 2025, there is accelerating demand across the continent for Cassava Technologies’ range of digital services enabled by a digital infrastructure platform of unrivalled scale.

“The African continent is still marked by low internet penetration and hampered by high costs of internet access despite the projected exponential growth. This, coupled with a significant unbanked population, further underlines the huge market opportunity for Cassava Technologies.”

Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Cassava Technologies, notes: “Technology creates pathways to democratise access to opportunity. Only through accelerating digital innovation in Africa will we empower individuals, families, businesses and economies to reach their full potential.

“As Africa’s economy transitions to digital, there is a tremendous opportunity for increasing connectivity to usher in a new wave of digital tools and solutions that will improve the lives of millions of Africans. This is why we have created Cassava Technologies, to make technology as accessible as cassava ‘fufu’ in Africa.”

Fufu is a dough-like food made from fresh or fermented cassava, found in West Africa.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of Cassava Technologies. Our unmatched fibre broadband, data centres and renewable energy infrastructure, paired with fintech, cloud, cyber security and on-demand digital platforms, will accelerate Africa’s digital transformation.

“As Cassava Technologies, with a footprint covering more than 15 countries, we are well-positioned to meet the growing needs of businesses operating in Africa and expand access to fintech and other digital services to enterprises, small and medium businesses, and consumers across Africa,” says Hardy Pemhiwa, CEO of Cassava Technologies.