Africa Data Centres to propel digital transformation with US$50m DFC partnership

The nation’s pursuit of becoming a central hub for data and technology in the sub-region has received impetus from the formalization of a partnership between Africa Data Centres (ADC) – a subsidiary of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group – and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

This partnership will result in the construction of a state-of-the-art data centre at the Ghana Trade Fair Redevelopment Project in Accra. This initiative is part of a US$300million fund aimed at supporting the development of data centres across Africa, with 15 percent of the sum – US$50 million – allocated for Ghana.

At the signing ceremony, Chief Financial Officer-ADC, Finhai Munzara, explained that the data centre has been designed to initially support 10 megawatts (MW) of power, with the capacity of expanding to 30 MW to meet the rising demand.

“We are pleased to extend the strong relationship [with the DFC] to enable faster digital transformation in Ghana – a country that is becoming a regional digital hub, enjoying a significant share of West Africa’s Internet traffic. The site provides us with a unique opportunity to deliver the critical hyper-scale IT infrastructure in a secure, central location,” he said, with construction of the multi-phased project expected to commence in 2024 – with the centre being operational within 12 to 18 months.

This comes as the continent continues to witness a boom in data centre construction owing to the digital infrastructure gap.

According to Xalam Analytics, a digital infrastructure consultancy, approximately 70 new data centres were established between 2017 and 2022; and the commercial hosting capacity in Africa is doubling every three years. This growth is vital to meet the increasing demand.

A report by the African Data Centres Association (ADCA) shows that Africa needs 1,000MW and 700 facilities, as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of digitization across Africa… making the need for data centres even more critical.