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US gov’t pushes data centres throughout Africa

By , Africa editor
Africa , 23 May 2023
The US President Joe Biden.
The US President Joe Biden.

The US, under President Joe Biden, and the G7’s flagship infrastructure initiative, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), will construct data centres throughout Africa, it has been revealed.

G7 leaders affirmed their commitment to identify new opportunities to scale the PGII at the recently held 2023 G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

In a statement, the US government said the infrastructure initiative has attracted major investors to better respond to the global demand for high quality infrastructure financing, in low- and middle-income countries.

The PGII is making investments in key economic corridors including transportation infrastructure, making clean electricity more affordable, and ICT network solutions to rural communities.

“Under PGII, the US government will work to construct data centres throughout Africa,” read the statement.

To this end, it said, last week, the US’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced it is providing a $300 million loan facility to Africa Data Centres to construct a first-of-its kind data centre in Ghana.

The US government said: “Africa accounts for less than one percent of total available global data centre capacity despite being home to 17 percent of the world’s total population.

“This investment builds on the Vice President’s recent trip to Ghana and is laying the groundwork for a digital revolution on the continent, by increasing access to cloud-based technologies, bringing down the cost of Internet, which facilitates greater access for women, and making the continent a more competitive destination for industry.”

In addition, it said DFC, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) are supporting investments in digital infrastructure and improved access to digital services in Angola and the DRC.

“Expanding on the DFC’s existing financing for telecom provider Africell in the DRC, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia, US EXIM is continuing its due diligence for a new transaction supporting the expansion of wireless services, and USAID is announcing a digital payments initiative with Africell in Angola,” said the US government.

It added: “Together, these projects aim to provide fast and reliable Internet to individuals and companies across the Lobito Corridor and expand access to mobile money services in rural areas.”

Further,it said: “In the DRC, USTDA and USAID are providing early-stage support to advance the expansion of last-mile connectivity with Jenny Internet, fibre network expansion to connect more than 30 towns with Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group, expansion of rural Internet connectivity for half a million people with DRC-based internet service provider Global Broadband Solution SARL, and piloting of US firm Parallel Wireless’ Open Radio Access Networks equipment with Vodacom DRC in five villages.”

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