Mauritian entrepreneur Dhaneshwar Damry announced plans in early December to move forward with the establishment of a pan-African stock exchange and supporting network of Africa data centers.
The exchange, which will begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2015, will rely on multiple data centers set up by Damry's company Bhumishq across Central and West Africa. An Ethiopia data center in Addis Ababa will serve as the stock exchange's central African hub, a Nairobi data center will be the Eastern site and facilities in Nigeria and Ghana will control activities in the west. A Mozambique data center is being considered as a base of operations in the south, and satellite facilities are planned for Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and the Ivory Coast.
"In Africa, there is a huge lack of capital, and this [lack of data centers] is the gap in the market we identified," said Damry. "These are level four data centers. There are only two or three in the whole of Africa. We built the first one, in Mauritius. Without data centers, there can be no service."
Creating a Cloud-Based Stock Exchange
The pan-African stock exchange will offer blue-chip African stocks and government bonds denominated in U.S. dollars. Those participating in the exchange will use a Web-based connection to the data center network, but subscriptions for direct access to the facilities may be possible in the future. The exchange will be primarily based on a hybrid cloud platform, but private and public environments will be assigned based on compliance requirements for different parts of the operation.
The technology necessary for the trading infrastructure is being supplied by Deutsche Börse and will use the Xetra cash equities platform that is currently utilized in German trading as well as the Central and Eastern European Stock Exchange Group.
Damry said that he is interested in creating such a robust data center infrastructure on the African continent because it is a widely untapped market and has vast potential for growth in the future.
"We are really passionate about Africa," said Damry. "Africa can leapfrog the developed markets. These markets have no legacy technology. It's a great opportunity. Once the data centers are connected, we will have the only exchange with that pan-African connectivity."
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