ITWeb TV: Africa Data Centres spends $500m in continental push

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 05 Jul 2024

Africa Data Centres (ADC), owned by Cassava Technologies, is on a $500 million (R9 billion) expansion drive, which will see the company establish a presence from North to Southern Africa.

Despite being Africa’s largest network of interconnected, carrier and cloud-neutral data centres, ADC is looking to acquire a competitive advantage over global firms that are descending on the continent.

International companies, such as Equinix and Digital Realty, are rapidly building data centres on the continent. Hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google are also making massive investments in data centres in Africa.

In an interview with ITWeb TV this week, Dr Angus Hay, ADC regional executive, said: “Data centres are capital-intensive as a business.

“At the moment, we have a capital plan in progress; you can see from the expansion we are doing, the construction in Cape Town and the building in Samrand. That is all being funded from a large capital pool of $500 million (R9 billion), and that is a combination of debt and equity within the larger Cassava Technologies Group.”

Hay told ITWeb TV that growth plans are in motion, and the company has identified opportunities from Morocco, through to Cape Town.

“We have expansion plans; we recently acquired land in Cape Town much closer to our landing cable. That is a facility we will start building soon. It will rival the Samrand as being a true hyperscaler 20MW facility.

“We have also bought land in Ghana and Morocco, as Accra and Casablanca will be joining the list of our data centres across the continent.”

Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Egypt and Zambia are all on ADC’s radar, according to Hay.

Detailing the key drivers of the data centres on the continent, he noted: “If you look at growth factors on the continent, there are probably three drivers we are seeing and most of these are driving growth in South Africa. SA is outpacing the continent on growth.

Dr Angus Hay, regional executive of Africa Data Centres. (Pic: Lesley Moyo)
Dr Angus Hay, regional executive of Africa Data Centres. (Pic: Lesley Moyo)

“The first part of these is cloud − public cloud deployments by hyperscalers − that is really driving growth. The second trend is the move to outsourcing to co-location providers, which is coming from a number of industries, across financial services; we see it in hospitality, retail, healthcare in government, as well as broader technology companies. All of them are driving demand to co-location providers.”

“The third big one [trend] is sustainability, as companies are outsourcing to entities that are aligned with their environmental sustainable goals.”

Hay’s reference to sustainability comes as data centres in Africa will, in the near future, increasingly face demands and regulation for energy and water usage transparency, according to analysts.