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Hyperscale investment signals golden opportunity for Africa to bolster local datacentre market

Increasing interest from global cloud businesses in Africa, while immediately valuable to the continent’s datacentre market, is also an opportunity to invest in-and develop local cloud infrastructure.

Nairobi-based cloud consultant Mwangi Maiburu points to recent investment in the continent’s datacentre market by the likes of Google, AWS and Oracle.

He believes this will enable African businesses to capitalise on locally-managed traffic flow rather than having to rely on datacentre connectivity abroad.

“Such moves will be good for African businesses who host their business in various cloud infrastructures, as they will now experience faster connectivity for their clients thanks to localisation.”

Making African datacentres attractive

Maiburu added,“Service providers should ensure that a client from Africa, migrating to the cloud, chooses a datacentre in Africa by providing an attractive migration package for them. The cost-benefit of hosting business applications and data in Africa-based cloud datacentres should be better than hosting from any of its other global cloud datacenters.”

According to Seacom, local datacentres offer faster speeds and lower latency, which boosts the accuracy of real-time analytics.

The company published a report in June this year which stated:“Businesses can benefit from increased processing speeds and uninterrupted connectivity. For example, improved datacentre infrastructure facilitates faster digital payments and an enhanced consumer journey, thereby generating more revenue.”

While South Africa dominates Africa’s datacentre market, Sub-Saharan Africa still has work to do to attract major global players.

Maiburu suggests there is a need to create a favourable, attractive environment featuring tax incentives, ideal segregated location and reduced cost of power.

Doing this could encourage major cloud enterprises to consider the idea of localisation, especially in East and West Africa where internet access is growing.

He said, “Cloud datacentres require two sources of power, from two separate power providers. In Kenya, we only have one power provider. This sector perhaps should be privatised to have more independent power producers and thus align to the requirements of setting up a cloud datacentre in East Africa.”

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