Liquid Telecom’s Africa Data Centres, pan-African network of interconnected, carrier-and cloud-neutral datacentres, has embarked on the construction of what it describes as one of the largest datacentres on the continent – a US$100-million site in Lagos.
Liquid Telecom operates five datacentres in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa.
In a statement Liquid Telecom said it has raised US$307-million through a rights issue to fund its datacentre expansion strategy in Africa.
According to the statement, the rights issue includes an additional US$40m from UK development finance institution CDC Group.
The newly established datacentre will be located on a five-acre site in Lagos.
Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman of the Liquid Telecom Group confirmed that Africa Data Centres was working on the construction of the “largest datacentre on the continent outside of South Africa.”
Masiyiwa said the datacentre would increase access to more affordable cloud services.
“As long as you have infrastructure that is not local, there are going to be costs associated with accessing that infrastructure. So, by building the datacentres locally, you remove the costs associated with an end-user accessing this data by moving through different countries to find where the data is.”
He added that establishing datacentres locally results in lower latency for end users since they are physically closer to the data as well.
The expectation is that the datacentre will drive investment into Nigeria and create “thousands” of tech jobs, although the company has not confirmed exactly how many or specifically what kind of jobs this entails.
In May this year Masiyiwa confirmed the company’s plans to enter West Africa were at an advanced stage and the company had secured land to build datacentres in Ghana and Nigeria.
In August Africa Data Centres entered into a supply agreement with Egypt’s Benya Cables to source fibre optic technology infrastructure across seven countries on the continent.