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Africa’s data centre market poised for double-digit growth in coming years

10th November 2022

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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Research and consultancy company Xalam Analytics says the African data centre market is in the midst of a remarkable growth surge, with data centre providers having spent over $2-billion in building these facilities since 2017.

The global market has seen more than 200 MW of fresh commercial information technology (IT) load capacity.

In particular, the African market has been one of the world’s fastest growing markets for commercial data centre deployments, Xalam finds.

“The African data centre market is entering the high-growth phase of its evolution cycle – a phase that is reflected by massive expansions as hyperscale cloud markets densify and demand in some larger economies starts to live up to presumptive potential,” says Xalam MD Guy Zibi.

The consultancy projects that live commercial IT load will nearly triple from 2021 levels soon, as the size of the market is doubling every three years.

Zibi explains that the growth surge is reflective of Africa’s transition from the age of broadband to the age of cloud, and the scale of local hosting capacity needed to support it.

Data centre provider Africa Data Centres (ADC) CFO Finhai Munzara agrees, telling Engineering News on the sidelines of Africa Tech Festival 2022, in Cape Town, that the African data centre market is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of between 12% and 15% over the next four years, reaching up to $5-billion in size.

He says South Africa remains the largest data centre market on the continent, alongside Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya and Egypt, but he sees rapid data centre growth in the markets of Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; and Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, as industrialisation and economic activity picks up.

The company is particularly optimistic about the Kenyan market, which will see ADC adding 1 MW of capacity to its data centre facility in Nairobi. The facility, which will take about 40 weeks to complete after starting construction in mid-June, will be the first EDGE-certified data centre in the region.

EDGE certification is a green building certification system for emerging markets created by the International Finance Corporation.

ADC also announced earlier this year that it will build two more data centres in East Africa for an investment value of $200-million.

ADC MD Dan Kwach says in a statement that East Africa is one of ADC’s key markets as there is a skyrocketing demand for data centres.

“The demand for digital technologies has accelerated as businesses of every type and size in Africa move to quicken their digital transformation journeys.

“The immediate 1 MW facility is a key part of this expansion as Kenya is a critical African market in terms of being at the vanguard of hyperscale data centre demand and digital transformation in East Africa,” he states, adding that the new facility will pave the way for hyperscale customers to deploy technology solutions to the region in low latency. 

Liquid Intelligent Technologies hosted Engineering News in Cape Town for Africa Tech Festival 2022.


Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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