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ADB funds new Congo data centre

By , ITWeb
Congo , 20 May 2024
Sié Antoine-Marie Tioyé, African Development Bank’s country economist in Congo.
Sié Antoine-Marie Tioyé, African Development Bank’s country economist in Congo.

The African Development Bank is building a new data centre in Congo, which it believes will soon become crucial for storing and processing the Republic of Congo's digital data.

This is a remarkable achievement, according to the Bank's Congo country economist, especially given the sub-river segment for the Congo-Central African Republic connection via the Sangha River. The data center's construction and operation will cost approximately €13.8 million.

"Congo will soon be the only country in Central Africa to have its own data centre," says Michel Ngakala, coordinator of the Central Africa Fibre-Optic Backbone project, which includes Congo.

"Ultimately, the videoconferences we host here will no longer pass through a server in Europe, America, or elsewhere before returning to us. Everything will happen here."

"As part of the Congo component of the Central Africa Fibre-Optic Backbone Project, we received funding from the African Development Bank to build a data centre, and now we're constructing a three-storey building that can be extended to include a basement," explains the coordinator, taking a tour of Congo's future data centre.

According to Ngakala, the three levels centre will include server rooms, monitoring and supervisory rooms, meeting and conference rooms, as well as sites for the energy and air-conditioning equipment required for the center's proper operation, which should be delivered by December 2024.

"All the data produced in Congo has to be stored somewhere," he said. "At the moment, this data is stored abroad, so we have Congolese domain names that often end in" .fr "or" .com ", whereas Congo's domain name is" .cg

He went on to say, "From now on, we'll be able to host all public data in the data centre, as well as that of telecom operators, banks, insurance companies, and other private firms that want it hosted here, including backups of any primary storage sites they use."

"This project will cement the country's digital sovereignty, because we cannot claim to be sovereign when our data, even the most sensitive data, is stored outside our territory, in foreign countries, with real risks of misuse, violation or massive leaks."

Samatar Omar Elmi, Chief ICT Specialist at the African Development Bank and project manager for the Bank, gives his thoughts: "The issue of data localization has gained traction across Africa in recent years, particularly when sensitive data is involved. The availability of locally produced data will enable a virtuous circle of local value creation, benefiting our countries' entire digital ecosystem (public, private, etc.).

“These are the early beginnings of a digital circular economy that will help our continent achieve low-carbon development."

In addition to promoting digital sovereignty, this project would "help improve the competitiveness of Congo's economy in terms of factor costs, because communication is a major factor in economic development," according to Sié Antoine-Marie Tioyé, the Bank's country economist in Congo.

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