WIOCC Group secures digital infrastructure expansion funds

20th June 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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Digital infrastructure provider WIOCC Group is furthering its expansion strategy in three African countries, enhancing the continent’s digital infrastructure and connectivity and supporting economic growth after securing funding through a financing package from IFC and Proparco.

The financing includes loans of $10-million and R200-million from IFC, as well as $20-million from Proparco, a development finance institution and subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement Group.

In addition, WIOCC expects to sign an additional $10-million loan for its expansion in Nigeria with RMB in the next few weeks.

With the funding, WIOCC Group will expand its core and edge data centres in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and South Africa to meet growing demand for colocation and other data centre services.

It will also grow its fibre networks, helping bridge the digital divide and fostering economic growth across Africa.

Since its inception in 2007, WIOCC has been investing in Africa's digital backbone, delivering open-access infrastructure to meet the growing demand for reliable connectivity solutions throughout the continent.

The latest capital raise signifies a major milestone in its journey towards building a more connected Africa, fostering long-term partnerships and sustainability.

The financing is structured as a sustainability-linked debt, with pricing linked to WIOCC’s commitment to improve the energy efficiency of its data centres and obtain EDGE green building certification for them.

EDGE, an innovation of IFC, makes it easy to design and certify resource-efficient and zero carbon buildings.

“We are excited to conclude this next stage of our capital raise, which will enable significant expansion, adding further capacity to our open-access data centre operation and extending open-access hyperscale national, international, and metro connectivity across our key markets in Nigeria, southern Africa, the DRC and Greater East and Central Africa,” said WIOCC Group CEO Chris Wood.

“Our policy of continual investment in infrastructure to create Africa’s first, truly open-access interconnected digital ecosystem means ongoing investment for growth, ensuring readiness to meet the future demands of our clients’ customers throughout Africa.”

Proparco energy, digital and infrastructure head Ariane Ducreux added that the Agence Française de Développement Group has been supporting WIOCC since its inception in 2007.

“We are very proud to pursue this long-term partnership by supporting the expansion of the open-access data centres’ activities in Nigeria, South Africa, DRC and beyond. Truly neutral and open-access data centres are the cornerstone of a diversified digital ecosystem. Local data storage and processing capacity are also vital for the resilience of Africa’s digital network, as recent outages have demonstrated.”

The sustainability-linked structure of the new financing, along with technical assistance support, also aims to incentivise the deployment of energy and water efficient data centres, while adapting implementations to the specifications of each site environment.

“Our long-standing partnership with WIOCC of more than 15 years demonstrates IFC’s commitment to increasing affordable and reliable digital connectivity in Africa through shared infrastructure,” said IFC Global industry director of infrastructure Bertrand de la Borde.

This new debt facility will help WIOCC fulfil its ambition to establish an integrated, open-access, core-to-edge cloud ecosystem throughout the African continent, which is critical to bridge the digital divide.

“RMB is thrilled to be a strategic banking partner to WIOCC. Digital Infrastructure is one of our core sectors of expertise as a bank. As such, we are excited at the opportunity to support this deal and remain committed to partnering with WIOCC on its growth journey across the continent,” continued RMB broader Africa head of investment banking Chidi Iwuchukwu.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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