DCP has identified that half of the countries in Africa have now launched third-party Data Centre facilities with total African Data Centre space and power being equivalent to markets in Spain or Switzerland.
A report forecasts that the Southern Africa Region accounts for 54 per cent of total third-party African Data Centre raised floor space followed by North Africa being the next largest region. In total DCP forecasts that the overall market for African Data Centre raised floor space will over 140,000 m2 as of the beginning of 2021 with 49 per cent of growth overall to the beginning of 2025.
The largest third-party Data Centre facility in Africa is under 10,000 of Data Centre raised floor space, much smaller than their Data Centre counterparts in Asia, North America and Europe.
There is significant investment in new Data Centre facilities, as a number of companies aim to build a Pan African Data Centre network of facilities from 2021. Until recently Africa has lacked Data Centre Providers with a presence in multiple countries – the scene is changing with a number of new private equity investors aiming to build Data Centre networks in Africa.
Carrier Based Data Centre facilities – owned by a Telecoms Provider – account for almost half of all raised floor space in Africa, but the Carrier Neutral Data Centre segment is increasing and accounts for just under 30 per cent of space.
” Data Centres are entering new markets including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. A trend includes facilities being created as PFMs, ” as smaller self-contained Data Centres to be used for network, cloud, wholesale and colocation, suitable for local environments.
The African market is being transformed by the introduction of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) including AWS, Microsoft Azure Cloud, Oracle Cloud and HUAWEI CLOUD introducing availability zones located in South Africa – with telecom providers Safaricom and Vodacom now reselling AWS cloud to small businesses.
DCP forecasts that African cloud revenues will accelerate by 80 per cent over the four-year period to the beginning of 2025.
Data Centre developers face a series of challenges in Africa, including raising finance for facility investment, overcoming legal land ownership issues, securing power, ensuring fibre connectivity and ensuring that the facility is resilient in the face of weather conditions, heat and humidity. Additionally, due to intermittent power supply issues, many Data Centre facilities use diesel-generated power for much of the day in developing markets.
Lower priced rack space is now available in South Africa benefitting from multiple Data Centre providers and facilities offering different tiers of service and power which can be adapted to specific customer needs.