Kenya’s Mawingu Networks, a solar-powered wireless Internet provider, has received a $4.1 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. Government’s development finance institution to provide last-mile connectivity access to areas that cannot economically access the internet.
OPIC’s loan was announced in July last year to allow a commercial expansion of a proven model to utilize existing technology of TV White Space (TVWS) connectivity for off-grid internet access.
“We are excited to announce during this week’s Africa U.S. Business Forum OPIC support for a highly-developmental investment in Africa,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “Mawingu’s technology and ingenuity will make it possible to provide affordable, solar powered wireless internet to communities throughout rural Kenya.”
This is not the first external investment into Mawingu techmoran, it earlier on received equity funding from Angel Investor Jim Forster, Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., and Microsoft Corporation and USAID two years after their first phase of support.
Mawingu says its proud and honoured to be working with the support of OPIC and the American government and see it as a tremendous opportunity to build upon its successful pilot project.
”This funding will help us to accelerate the roll out of our network in rural areas across Kenya and beyond,” said Tim Hobbs, Director Mawingu Networks Ltd. “It is becoming increasingly clear that affordable access to the internet is a powerful driver of economic growth and Mawingu is committed to making sure that this opportunity is available to as many Kenyans as possible.”