A data centre (or datacenter) is a facility composed of networked computers and storage that businesses or other organizations use to organize, process, store and disseminate large amounts of data. A business typically relies heavily upon the applications, services and data contained within a data center, making it a focal point and critical asset for everyday operations.

Globally, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily from website visits, social media posts, mobile app interactions, and other online activity.

This flood of information is stored in data centres, which need to grow exponentially, and now by even more as the cloud blooms.

The digital boom of the African continent is soliciting the services of data centres to secure all kinds of online transactions. The core players of the data centre market are expanding their services to their neighbouring countries.

The expansion of data centres throughout Africa

Liquid Telecom and MTN are currently expanding their services to South Africa and Kenya to meet the growing demands for cloud-based services. Liquid Telecom CEO, Nic Rudnick stated that “moving to cloud-based solutions becomes more commonplace, businesses across Africa require more carrier-neutral, open-access data centre space for their business-critical data and applications.”

The growth of broadband connection by 20% on a yearly basis, signals the need for colocation services, to secure the storage of information. This flood of data comes from the daily use of social media, mobile app interactions, and other online transactions. Companies with a digital focus should consider cloud-computing to back up and secure their private data. These centres provide their customers with a constant access to their stored information base, as well as a faster connectivity to international search engines.

“Companies should ensure to take proactive measures to protect themselves or mitigate disturbance in offer of their services. Hosting such services in robust data centre facilities is critical,” said Dan Kwach, General Manager of East Africa Data Centre.

These centres are equipped to fight cyber crimes like the recent ransomware attack that hit over 100 countries across the globe including African countries like South Africa and Tunisia.

Core players of the sector

Several African countries are leading the way in data center investments, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. The African Multi-Tenant Data Center (MTDC) market is booming with various investments led by the aforementioned countries.

According to the 2017 African Data Center Market Report, the most valuable markets are that of South Africa and Tunisia. South Africa’s market is considered a gold data center and a pioneer. On the other hand, Tunisia is seen by investors as Africa’s best-hidden colocation secret. with a market estimated to triple in size. These two key players are pushing the MTDC market to thrive and broaden its geographical and activity scope.  However, the same report mentions that Morocco’s market is experiencing a slow colocation service awakening.

There are two data centers that operate under the umbrella of N+One. By the end of 2018, this firm will be launching their third center. As reported by Cloud scene, Egypt is home to five data centres and 11 cloud service providers. The first Egyptian center “ECC Solutions” was launched back in 2001 and it is currently an ISO 27001 Certified data.

Zimbabwe launched two data centres within the scope of a partnership between the national telecoms operator TelOne and Huawei. Kenya’s data center supports CCTV control and secures the activities of call centers. Despite the fact that Nigeria is still experiencing power outages, it is following in the steps of its predecessors by adopting cloud technology. The Nigerian Rack data center is a firm based in Lagos with a ten level building where the data of customers is safely stored. The building has a large staff of guards, CCTV, card access, and biometric verification tools.