Regional digital infrastructure gets big boost as Africa Data Centres, others partner

Left to right – Ladi Okuneye, UniCloud; Dr. Krishnan Ranganath, ADC; and Yen Choi, Onix engaging the press

In a significant move to enhance digital infrastructure in the country and the broader West Africa sub-region, Africa Data Centres (ADC) has announced a strategic partnership with Onix Data Centre. This collaboration aims to expand the data center footprint primarily in Ghana and other mutually beneficial markets where Africa Data Centres currently lacks a physical presence.

This partnership marks a crucial step in Africa Data Centres’ mission to extend its geographical reach and strengthen its commitment to providing customers with world-class data center facilities and services.

Dr. Krishnan Ranganath, Regional Executive for West Africa at Africa Data Centres, emphasized the importance of this expansion, stating, “Our collaboration with Onix Data Centre allows us to leverage innovative technologies and sustainable practices, enhancing our ability to serve the West African market effectively.”

Last year, Africa Data Centres signed a deal to build a new data centre in Ghana. Despite this partnership with Onix Data Centre, Dr. Ranganath noted that the partnership is to ensure that ADC can seamlessly onboard new customers while the construction of its new data centre is underway. “Our commitment to building a state-of-the-art data centre remains steadfast. This partnership allows us to continue providing exceptional service and scalability for our clients during the construction phase.”

A key aspect of this partnership is the focus on data sovereignty, which ensures that data remains within the country’s borders, complying with local regulations. Dr. Ranganath highlighted the critical role of data in today’s digital age, comparing it to oxygen. “If there is no data, there is nothing,” he said. “It’s vital that data remains within the country to ensure its validity and security.”

This comes as Africa’s data centre capacity is expected to increase by 50 percent between 2021 and 2026.

The partnership promises to enhance performance and reliability for users across the region. By hosting data locally, Africa Data Centres and Onix Data Centre aim to reduce latency, ensuring faster access to data and improving user experiences. This is particularly important for businesses such as banks, insurance companies, and content providers, which rely on quick and reliable access to data.

Both Africa Data Centres and Onix Data Centre are committed to providing facilities that meet international standards. The data centers in Ghana are designed to offer the same quality and reliability as those used by global tech giants like Facebook and Google.

Yen Choi, Chief Executive Officer of Onix Data Centre, expressed confidence in the partnership’s ability to deliver world-class infrastructure to the region. Sustainability is also a cornerstone of this partnership. By adopting eco-friendly technologies and practices, Africa Data Centres and Onix Data Centre aim to minimize their environmental impact while delivering efficient services. This aligns with global trends and enhances the reputation of both companies as responsible corporate citizens.

Ghana and West Africa are at the early stages of digital transformation, with increasing demand for digital infrastructure driven by online transactions, digital banking, and content creation. This partnership is poised to meet these growing needs, providing robust support for the region’s digital evolution.

UniCloud Africa, the first participant under the partnership, exemplifies the collaborative approach being taken.

Ladi Okuneye, Chief Executive Officer of UniCloud Africa, highlighted the importance of this collaboration in enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access advanced digital infrastructure. “This collaboration enables small and medium-sized enterprises to access advanced digital infrastructure,” he noted. This inclusive model supports large organizations and fosters broader economic growth by empowering SMEs.

The strategic vision behind this partnership includes enhancing the resilience of West Africa’s digital infrastructure. Hosting data locally mitigates the risks associated with reliance on international submarine cables. This localized approach ensures continuity of services even during disruptions to global infrastructure, as seen during recent undersea cable outages.

While specific growth targets are challenging to predict, the partnership aims for substantial increases in data center usage over the next few years. The strategy involves attracting large organizations and content providers while also catering to SMEs, driving rapid adoption and utilization of data center services.

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