AIIM, N+ONE Datacenters invest $90 million in pan-African joint venture
African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and N+ONE Datacenters (N+ONE) are working together to build a new Pan-African data centre and cloud services platform, with a short-term capacity of 40 MW.
N+ONE will contribute its current portfolio of digital infrastructure assets in Morocco, while AIIM will invest an initial $90 million in growth equity, through its most recent pan-African infrastructure fund, African Infrastructure Investment Fund 4 (AIIF4).
This is the sixth commitment from AIIM's AIIF4 fund, which focuses on growing infrastructure in the digital, energy, mobility, and logistics sectors.
The firms announced their collaboration yesterday, stating that the platform will focus on the development of hyperscale and wholesale carrier-neutral facilities. This will provide solutions to enterprise, government, and hyperscale customers across the continent, they said.
According to the two, the collaboration with AIIM creates the path for N+ONE to grow its existing campuses in Morocco and Senegal, while building new hyperscale locations in response to customer demand.
According to the organisations, the collaborative platform aims to overcome Africa's present digital infrastructure gap by delivering world-class facilities and services to boost local company expansion and enable global corporations to expand their African operations.
A joint statement noted that AIIM's track record in African digital infrastructure investment – across telecommunications towers, data centre, and fibre sub-sectors – as well as its ability to provide growth capital, were key factors in forming the alliance.
"The $90 million growth equity contribution made through AIIM's next generation infrastructure fund, AIIF4, will support the platform's roll-out and the construction of greenfield data centre infrastructure across West Africa," according to the announcement.
It added that Africa has more than 300MW of installed IT load, mostly located in South Africa. But with a focus on data sovereignty, along with expansion in data output and consumption, this will result in data onshoring into the continent.
"With data centre demand expected to exceed 1GW by 2030, significant investment is required to support the continent's digital economy's growth potential."
"Our vision is to deliver regionally interconnected hyperscale data centres, built and operated to the highest industry standards," said Amine Kandil, founder and CEO of N+ONE. “This launch is an important step towards realising that vision."
Moritz Breickmann, AIIM's investment director, added: "Through this collaboration, we hope to replicate N+ONE's success in new markets by constructing a pan-African data centre platform that provides customers with trusted solutions across multiple countries and addresses the continent's increasing demand for data storage and processing."
The investments come as the continent's interest in developing data centres grows.
Recently, the United States, led by President Joe Biden, and the G7's main infrastructure effort, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), announced plans to build data centres across Africa.
According to the US government, the infrastructure programme has drawn big investors in order to better meet global demand for high-quality infrastructure finance in low- and middle-income nations.
One such example is the International Development Finance Corporation of the United States, which announced a $300 million financing arrangement for Africa Data Centres to build a first-of-its-kind data centre in Ghana.
Data centre service providers anticipate an increase in data traffic as additional subsea communications cables arrive in Africa, and international firms have established bases in Africa over the last 48 months.
Teraco, Vantage Data Centres, Equinix, Amazon, Microsoft, Huawei, and Google have all established operations in Africa.