West Africa’s first commercial datacentre launching in 2011

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At Combit Africa 2009, I gave a presentation on The impact of submarine connectivity on West Africa’s web hosting industry. The premise of the presentation was simple. The presence of more submarine fibre connectivity in West Africa would give birth to commercial data centres in the sub-region. At this time, an overwhelming majority of West African websites are hosted on servers located in North America and Western Europe. Poor internet connectivity and poor power supply do not make a commercial data centre in West Africa, economically viable and thus overshadow the technical advantages a local data centre offers.

A local datacentre would deliver websites & web applications more efficiently
A West African data centre would deliver websites & web applications more efficiently to people in West Africa.

With the presence of 3 active submarine fibre connectivity into West Africa, one of the key factors for a local commercial data centre is taken care of and since power is a bit stable in Ghana, it makes economic sense to locate such a data centre in Ghana. The only data centres that exist in the West African sub-region at this time are mostly privately owned and managed by large enterprises for their internal use only.

A company simply identifying itself as West Africa Data Centres is taken the bold step to launch the first commercial large-scale data centre, in West Africa. In their own words:

West Africa Data Centres is opening its first data centre in Accra in 2011. We will be the first commercial carrier-neutral co-location facility serving the entire west African region.

WADC is a private consortium of established international investors who are living and based in Ghana.

Of course, one wouldn’t expect the pricing to be comparable to what’s currently offered in North America but the presence of this new data centre would be a major milestone for the local market as websites/applications hosted on it would be delivered much faster and with greater efficiency. Existing businesses that host their own applications can outsource some of their applications to the data centre thus saving on cost. I expect that with competition, pricing would be reviewed downwardly.

13 COMMENTS

  1. It is very encouraging news for individual and enterprises in the Internet business. ‘Power being a bit stable’ is my worry. Power hasnt been that stable in my area 🙁

  2. Thanks for sharing that Oluniyi, but do not underestimate the carrier-centric commercial data centers like MTN Cameroon recently opened DC in Yaounde!

  3. International grade Tier-2 DC with 300sqm fully equipped hosting area in a secure suburb of Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital. Just launched colocation services in Q3 2010. The “under-estimate” statement derives from the “first carrier-neutral commercial DC in West Africa” just to emphasize on the view that because it’s carrier-centric should not keep it out of contention for leadership in the DC arena in the region…

  4. Fully agree with you that carrier-neutral and carrier-centric commercial data centers do not present same arguments in terms of connectivity. However we shouldn’t underestimate the second type as they still provide a cloud of opportunities at the reach of Corporate/SMB/Gov’t in the region.

    Then IXP type services can actually help closing the loop…

    • Your data centre is fine, if you are targeting the local internet users only. In the real world, a website targeted at users in Cameroon only, would still receive visitors from outside Cameroon. Remember, there are Cameroonians abroad and there are friends of Cameroon everywhere. So, if a data centre is carrier-centric, what happens when there is a downtime? This is not debatable. An ideal data centre should be carrier-neutral; IXP or not.

  5. I’m actually not “debating” and from the get-go discussed more about “not under-estimating”, I’m not implying they’re equal…

    All I’m saying is that behind ideal carrier-neutral commercial DC, there’s also an emerging trend of operator-led commercial DC which shouldn’t be overlooked.

  6. […] West Africa’s first commercial datacentre launching in 2011 – Oluniyi D. Ajao At Combit Africa 2009, I gave a presentation on The impact of submarine connectivity on West Africa’s web hosting industry. The premise of the presentation was simple. The presence of more submarine fibre connectivity in West Africa would give birth to commercial data centres in the sub-region… […]

  7. well i think the custodians of this up coming project have a good visibility study in terms of location,and other reasons.hope it creates jobs opportunity.more overthere is advancing need for data center`s .hope this becomes one the biggest within the sub region

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