Africa Data Centers Planned

Plans for two new Africa data centers were announced this week, with facilities being built in Sierra Leone and Nigeria for communications companies MainOne and Airtel.

MainOne, a Nigerian communications services provider, is planning to build a tier three data center in the third quarter of 2014. The $40 million project comes as a result of increasing demands for managed services on the continent. The new Nigeria data center will host space for 600 racks in 37,700 square feet and will be the largest data center in West Africa.

CEO of MainOne Funke Opeke believes the Africa data center will provide greater access to major local and global networks in the country.

“With Africa recognized as home to seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world, the continent has emerged a dynamic business hub,” said Opeke. “We recognize the increasing demand for data center services, backed by reliable connectivity solutions. We believe that with more reliable data centers, we can support that growth and cater for the world-class hosting needs of African businesses and service providers in Africa.”

In Sierra Leone, Airtel has plans to construct a new Africa data center that will be prefabricated by Scandinavian builder Flexenclosure. The new building will be the first pre-fab data center to be created at large scale on the continent. A 4,100 square foot eCenter will be pre-built in Flexenclosure’s Swedish factory and installed with the complete system in Sierra Leone by the end of the year.

While Flexenclosure hasn’t mentioned specifics of the deal, they described the project as “multi-million dollar.” Pradeep Vats, Airtel’s head of real estate and data center facilities, has said that this new Sierra Leone data center is the first of many the telecom plans to build in Africa.

“This new data center gives us fast expansion as well as activation of both new telecoms and data services,” explained Airtel’s Sierra Leone managing director Sudipto Chowdhury. “It will generate IT and telecom awareness among young, local engineers and technicians and long term employment in monitoring and maintaining the data center.”

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