With the world on lockdown, the importance of digitisation to the economic growth and prosperity of nations and regions is becoming increasingly clear, also on the African continent.
With just 85 data centre operators in 54 African countries, a total population of 1.3 billion and the number of internet users growing with double digits, there is huge opportunity for data centre business in Africa. To show that Africa’s data centre and cloud services era has begun, the African Data Centres Association (ADCA) has published its first edition of the ‘State of the African Data Centres 2020’.
If there is one clear message to the world as this pandemic paralyzes our daily routines, it is that economies that have a strong digital foundation, are able to keep the economy running, at least partly. It shows the importance of the development of a strong telecoms infrastructure and the proliferation of broadband networks across the continent. This societal transformation can only take place, if supported by Africa’s digital infrastructure, with an increasingly growing role for data centres.
Leapfrog into the digital economy “The more Africa understands this opportunity, the more it will be able to grow its GDP, leapfrogging into the digital economy,” says Fatoumata Sarr, Chairman of the ADCA.
“There are a number of conditions, such as the importance of carrier-neutral data centres and the presence of an innovative ecosystem, in order for the African data centre market to fully unleash its potential.”
She and other industry leaders launched the new association in September 2018, to provide a platform to share knowledge and experience and to have a professional, strong representation of the industry. Currently, there are 14 data centre operators and 5 suppliers connected to the fastly growing network, who are all highlighted in the reports’ directory.
Increased demand for hosting space And that transformation is well underway, as shown in the report. At the end of 2019, the African continent had more than 100 commercial 4G networks, according to research partner Xalam Analytics.
International bandwidth capacity doubled over the last three years, and the fibre connections to houses and other premises, important for the connectivity of the African continent, has crossed the two-million milestone. According to the researchers, the market has now entered a phase of accelerated growth; available supply is expected to double in 2020 from 2019 levels, driven by increased demand for hosting space.
Xalam Analytics estimates that the total number of edge locations by an international network and content providers in Africa is close to 300 and growing by about 10% a year. Xalam Analytics estimates that at least 20 new dedicated facilities will come to the market in 2020 and 2021, as providers and investors get more comfortable with colocation business models in the African context.
The ‘State of the African Data Centre Market 2020’ on the current state of the African data centre market will help to understand with precision where Africa is in terms of its data centre industry. The ADCA is determined to further investigate and promote the market, to seize the potential demand and accelerate Africa’s digital future.
The ‘State of the African Data Centre Market 2020’ is available for download here