EDC invests USD 20 million in African tech fund to help Canadian companies
tap into growing ICT markets; International Datacasting first to benefit

OTTAWA, July 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced that it will invest up to USD 20 million in the Africa Telecommunications, Media and Technology Fund I, LLC (ATMT), where its involvement will help encourage Canadian supply to the burgeoning information, communication and technology (ICT) sector on the African continent.

"The explosive pace of wireless and broadband growth in East Africa offers tremendous opportunities for Canada's telecom and technology sectors, and our involvement in the ATMT fund will have a direct impact on helping Canadian companies entering the market," said Stephen Poloz, Senior Vice-President Financing Products Group.

"The fund offers a great balance between near term export sales and long term future benefits for the Canadian sector overall," Mr. Poloz added.

The USD 100-million fund targets investment commitments for the ICT industry within East Africa, and is managed by East Africa Capital Partners, LLC.

"We're thrilled to be EDC's first fund investment in Africa and very excited about the key strategic role Canadian technology will play in bringing high speed internet, multi-channel television and 21st century telephony to Sub-Saharan Africa," said Richard Essex, Partner, East Africa Capital Partners, LLC.

"We believe it's a great investment opportunity which also creates jobs in an important growth sector that also provides significant social development in the region. In particular, we are delighted with the collaboration between Canadian-based International Datacasting Corporation (IDC) and ATMT portfolio company Wananchi to offer multi-channel television to the broader East African regions 300 million people."

International Datacasting Corporation recently announced an agreement with The Wananchi Group for the development, build up and roll-out of a new direct-to-home broadcasting service that will provide television programming to the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. The project was funded by East Africa Capital Partners, LLC, who have also funded the development of The Wananchi Group.

"Our partnership with EDC and East Africa Capital has allowed IDC to rapidly expand into the Sub-Saharan region," said Frederick Godard, IDC President and CEO. "EDC's support positions us to grow our business in emerging markets and it is a valuable asset for us. We look forward to building this relationship further and into additional markets in the future.

EDC believes that Eastern Africa's ICT Sector is set to undergo a period of sustained growth. As an investor, EDC uses its position and influence to secure an understanding with the funds to provide Canadian companies with early and privileged access to the funds' networks and business opportunities within their portfolio companies.

East Africa Capital Partners is a technology, media and telecommunications sector focused Private Equity Fund Manager investing in the Eastern Africa region.

International Datacasting Corporation (TSX:IDC) is a global leader in providing IP-based datacasting solutions and systems for the distribution of broadband multimedia content. IDC is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, operates in Europe through its wholly owned subsidiary PROFline B.V. in Arnhem, the Netherlands and in the US through its operations in San Diego, California.

EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,400 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining, a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis, and has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for nine consecutive years.

SOURCE Export Development Canada

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, Tel: 613.598-2904, BlackBerry: ptaylor@edc.ca


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