The new report – Data Centers Africa II – published this August has now been extended to cover 21 countries.
Cloud expansion, mobile data and increased international and domestic bandwidth are collectively driving growth of data centers across Africa. Outside of the top five markets including Nigeria, the report does not forecast much more than incremental growth occurring through the next year.
Research for the report suggested that expansion plans project an increase in m2 of around 28% by the end of 2019. Although power availability is increasing slowly - and with several large scale renewable energy projects in progress – the bulk of power supply resides in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Morocco which also represent the bulk of forecast growth of 24% across the same period.
The report also notes the roll out of domestic fiber and FTTH across a number of cities in nine of the 21 countries covered supporting Triple Play services and high-speed broadband for homes and businesses and ready to leverage the future opportunities provided by 5G.
A small number of Pan African players – MTN is among the largest with 48 colocation sites and data center facilities across Africa - have added new modular facilities for mobile switching and to provide colocation space for mobile service providers.
Investment continues to sustain development often with government or Chinese investment funding, in Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia. Data centers are being included as a part of national infrastructure renewal projects. In addition entrepreneurial projects such as West Africa Data Centres Ltd and its planned expansion to other markets is evidence of new investment potential.
Morocco also leads in Africa by already achieving 32% in renewable solar energy resources and has an ambitious plan to increase this level to 42% by the end of 2020 and 52% by 2030. South Africa has recently unlocked development plans with USD4.7b investment for solar and wind projects which will yield an estimated 2000MW.