(Ecofin Agency) - The rapid digital transformation in Africa has prompted companies to seek greater computing capabilities to support their operations. Consequently, there has been a significant increase in data center investments by major players such as Huawei, Google, Microsoft, Teraco, OADC, and Raxio.
Last week, wholesale infrastructure provider West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) signed a shareholder agreement with Texaf for the construction of a data center in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Open Access Data Centres (OADC), a subsidiary of WIOCC, will operate the facility, expected to be operational by November 2023.
The OADC Kinshasa data center will offer a computing capacity of 2 MW, with a white space that can reach 1,000 m² and accommodate over 550 racks. It will be an open-access, Tier 3 certified facility, neutral towards operators.
This data center project forms part of WIOCC's expansive digital infrastructure plans across Africa, driven by the rapid pace of digital transformation and the increasing demand for high-speed connectivity. Back in September 2022, WIOCC secured a $30 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand its terrestrial fiber networks, invest in new submarine cables, and deploy world-class open-access data center infrastructure throughout the continent.
The investment in data center capacity in Africa comes at a crucial time, as the continent aims to address the existing deficit. According to the "Data Centres in Africa" report, a collaboration between Oxford Business Group and the Africa Data Centres Association (ADCA), the entire continent requires 700 data center installations and 1,000 MW of computing capacity to meet demand and rival the market-leading position of South Africa.
Chris Wood (see picture, right), CEO of WIOCC, expressed the significance of the OADC Kinshasa project, stating, "OADC Kinshasa will drive the economy of the DRC by providing dynamic digital ecosystems and open and converged digital infrastructure services (CODI), offering tailored colocation and reliable connectivity. These services can be utilized by content providers, cloud operators, telecommunications operators, and internet service providers (ISPs), enabling the delivery of a wide range of digital products and services to businesses and individuals."
Isaac K. Kassouwi