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Raxio teams up with Africa Century Real Estate to launch new data centre region

Company is expanding across Africa and says it will continue to invest in the continent, with West Africa set to become its largest market revenue driver.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

July 14, 2021 | 10:45 AM BST

Africa data centre operators are rushing to fill in the gap in digital infrastructure provisioning and take away as much as possible of the projected US$5 billion revenue pie for the continent by 2026.

Private equity-funded operator Raxio Group is one of those businesses that is currently expanding or planning to do so in 12 markets across the continent. Its latest announcement comes from Mozambique where it plans to commission a carrier-neutral data centre by 2022.

Raxio Mozambique’s first facility will be located approximately 20 KM from downtown Maputo at the Beluluane Industrial Park. The company said it expects all power used by the facility to come from renewable sources, with a combination of hydro-generated grid power and a local solar supply.

The provider has teamed up with local investor and developer of residential, office and commercial properties in Mozambique, Africa Century Real Estate for this project.

As digital transformation grows across both the private and public sectors and significant investment expected in the coming years, Raxio has plans to build additional facilities in the country to support this growth.

Robert Mullins, CEO of Raxio Group, said: “Over the past year, the number of internet users in the country increased by 25% – and we expect this to keep growing over the coming years, across all industries. To support this growth, we are seeing new investment from carriers and subsea cables. We are excited to be able to support the country’s digital growth with affordable, high quality, co-location environments.

“Our data centre in Maputo will be a flagship facility focused on energy efficiency and use of renewable power, that will facilitate internet traffic amongst content providers locally and internationally and make the internet experience faster, more resilient, and more affordable for all digital users.”

Raxio Mozambique’s facility in Maputo is the fourth data centre in the Raxio Group’s growing portfolio, which includes Raxio Uganda, Raxio Ethiopia, and Raxio Kinshasa, in the DRC. Raxio Group is actively pursuing its development efforts, including the establishment of additional facilities in its existing markets and building facilities in new markets.

The operator’s planned investment in the Ivory Coast later this year will establish a strong foothold in francophone West Africa, and serve as a hub for the region, while its expected investment in Tanzania will consolidate its position in East Africa.

The group expects to complete up to 10-12 data centres investments across Africa to meet the increased demand for local storage and data hosting in the region.

According to the latest data from advisory firm Arizton, the Africa data centre market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 15% during the period 2020−2026, when it will reach $5 billion.

Increasing internet penetration, adoption of cloud, and migration from on-premises to colocation and managed data centres is driving the data centre demand in Africa.

Interestingly, the rate of urbanisation in Africa is expected to go up to around 60% in 2050, with more than 10 mega cities comprising over 150 million residents, and accounting for over 15% share of the global GDP. A trend that is set to push data centre revenue projections much higher in the coming three decades.

Analysts said: “The Africa data centre market is increasingly moving towards digitization, with the rising adoption of the internet, the implementation of 5G services by a few telecom companies in Tier I cities, as well as improvement in overall connectivity in the region by way of terrestrial and subsea cables. The number of interconnected devices is also increasing significantly in recent years.

“The pace of urbanisation will power the economy in the region and attract investments for technological advancements. Government-funded public administration initiatives are paving the way to the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) networks and related edge networks, 5G, and analytics applications in Africa. Smart city initiatives further emphasize the importance of data in improving communication among cities, citizens, automobiles, electronics, and devices.”

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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