Africa’s cloud computing boom creates data centre gold rush

International investors are rushing to fund a boom in the African cloud computing market, as the proliferation of smartphones and mass adoption of business software on the continent leads to soaring demand for data centres to power the technology.

Africa currently accounts for less than 1 per cent of total available global data centre capacity, according to data from Xalam Analytics, despite being home to about 17 per cent of the world’s population. However, its capacity has doubled in the past three years.

Data Centre

Among those to invest is London-based private equity firm Actis, which is injecting $250m into African data centres over the next three years — beginning with taking a controlling stake in Rack Centre, a leading Nigerian company that serves the west African market.

The investment will fund a doubling of Rack Centre’s 750kW capacity and its expansion across west Africa, creating one of the largest data centres on the continent.

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