Africa’s leading carrier-neutral co-location data centre provider, Africa Data Centres, has announced plans to build large hyperscale data centres throughout Africa, including the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.
The project will involve building 10 hyperscale data centres, in 10 countries, over the next two years – at a cost of more than $500 million or R7.2 billion. It is being funded through new equity and facilities from leading development finance institutions and multilateral organisations. Africa Data Centres CEO, Mr Stephane Duproz, explains that the finance for the roll-out has been provided by equity and loans to Africa Data Centres’ parent company, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, to fully fund the expansion.
Explaining the ambitious initiative, Duproz says, “We have already begun to acquire land in these countries and plan to roll-out very quickly to meet the needs of our existing and new customers. This is just the beginning for us.” The expansion will more than double Africa Data Centres’ already significant footprint on the continent.
“Examining Africa’s growth trajectory has allowed us to make investment decisions on new locations and confidently commit to expanding selected existing locations, resulting in the largest investment of its kind in history,” explains Duproz.
“This commitment to Africa, through the continuous deployment of capital-intensive infrastructure projects, has pivotal knock-on effects for the communities and economies we serve,” says Duproz. “All our data centres are world-class – built to the same, global market-leading standard and offer a reliable, resilient, secure and interconnected base.
“This allows multinational organisations to confidently enter the market, knowing their future growth is assured and they have access to open carrier systems to the rest of the continent. Additionally, without access to always-on, high-speed data centre facilities, the private sector cannot compete globally and will see slowed growth locally; equally important is the impact IT services have on the public sector – from healthcare to transport infrastructure.”
Africa Data Centres’ investment is a reflection of, as well as a catalyst for the continued direct foreign investment into the continent and the positive growth of local organisations.
Duproz says industries especially likely to be buoyed by Africa Data Centres’ expansion are the banking and growing fintech sectors, insurance and medical organisations, the public sector, hyperscale cloud providers and content providers. These industries, he says, are highly sensitive to data speed, security, guaranteed uptime and are exacting when it comes to reliability and trust in their providers. The SME market too, he says, has found a significant opportunity for growth by plugging into the digital ecosystems that data centres provide.
“Our experience from across the continent is that the strategic value of data centres has both immediate and long-term effects on the economy and the communities they serve. Job creation is something we are passionate about at Africa Data Centres and the equation is a simple one: digitisation boosts economies, and successful digitisation requires data centres. Data centres are digital ecosystems, acting as magnets to organisations – and as the digital ecosystem grows within the data centre, so the local economy grows in the real world. The impact of a data centre is long-lasting, with immediate job creation stemming from the physical build and enduring economic growth once operational.”
Sustainable, pan-African, neutral, interconnected
“We are Africa’s largest network of data centres – and we are growing perpetually. All of our facilities across the continent will remain interconnected, allowing our tenants to take advantage of our vast footprint. Furthermore, we guarantee carrier-neutrality – meaning our tenants benefit from competition, redundancy and reliability. And, perhaps most importantly, is our commitment to sustainable, clean builds. We invest heavily in innovative grey-water systems, waste disposal and renewable energy sources, ensuring our carbon footprint is drastically reduced, our reliability is uncontested and while building economies, we’re aiding the environment”, says Duproz.
Africa Data Centres has already begun the implementation of its roadmap with the construction of both new facilities and the expansion of existing facilities underway.