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Africa Data Centres draws US$83m to drive expansion plan

Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.
Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.

Africa Data Centres, a business of Cassava Technologies, is executing an ambitious plan to build datacentres in ten of Africa’s largest economic capitals – and has drawn US$83-million, the first tranche of a US$300-million investment from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) approved in 2021.

Africa Data Centres plans to use the capital to build datacentres in Abidjan, Accra, Cairo, Casablanca and Lagos, adding to the company’s existing DFC-eligible African countries.

Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres, said, "The increasing demand for cloud and other digital technologies on the continent has directly increased the demand for African data to reside within the continent. This means Africa needs more datacentres. We are pleased that our datacentre expansion programme in South Africa funded by DFC will cater to the growing demand in the country".

Hardy Pemhiwa, President and CEO of Cassava Technologies, added: "This investment by DFC follows our recent announcement of the US$ 50-million investment by C5 Capital into Cassava Technologies and a partnership to build Cyber Security Operations Centres across six markets in Africa. Through these investments, Cassava Technologies is building Africa's digital infrastructure to enable accelerated economic development and ensure a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind.”

"Africa has unrealised economic potential that will be unlocked by this investment from DFC. We look forward to working closely with DFC to overcome Africa's digital infrastructure deficit and accelerate the adoption of cloud services and digital applications across all industries, further making the continent a competitive destination for international investment.”

Building plans

In June this year Africa Data Centres announced that it would construct a second datacentre in Cape Town, South Africa.

At the time Durvasula said there is a “clear pipeline of demand” for colocation space that cannot be served from the existing Diep River datacentre.

South Africa remains the largest datacentre market on the continent and has been ranked number 25 globally by Cloudscene based on datacentre density.

Durvasula added: "Hyper-scaler cloud providers have been eyeing the region for some time, with Amazon opening its first African cloud datacentre in South Africa in April 2020. In addition, Google Cloud recently selected Africa Data Centres as the first location for Google Cloud Interconnect in Africa".

Research estimates that the market for datacentres in Africa is expected to reach between US$3- billion and US$5-billion in the next four years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of between 12 and 15%, depending on the report.

Also in June the company also began construction on a 30MW datacentre facility in Accra, Ghana.

The Accra operation is a significant milestone for the company and highlights the massive growth opportunity the company sees for its business in the region and the continent. 

“This new facility will be a giant leap forward in our ambitious long-term plans to close the digital divide in Africa by bringing digital services to more businesses and people. We chose Accra as our next location since there is an existing high demand from hyper-scalers, cloud operators and multi-national enterprises to digitally transform West Africa,” said Durvasula.

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