US-based investment firm First Brick Holdings has announced plans to drive digitization across eastern and southern Africa with multiple investments and developments of tier III data centers.
The new centers will aim to address the demand for data center infrastructure in local African markets. The economic growth rate in eastern Africa, according to First Brick Holdings executive director Robert Mullins, currently averages between 5–10%.
Furthermore, Mullins added that when economic growth is integrated with "parallel trends in digitalization and content consumption, we see annual data usage and associated storage requirements increase by 20–30%".
A data center in Uganda, deemed "Raxio Data Center", will be the first of its developments in eastern Africa. The new data center will play a key role in Uganda's evolving digital economy and will aim to cut costs of connectivity and "attract global cloud service providers, content distribution networks and regional carriers", the firm said.
According to the firm, Raxio is Uganda's first state-of-the-art tier III network-neutral data center, with intention to open in mid-2019.
Commenting on the challenges associated with digital transformation, ranging from mission-critical enterprise services to e-government initiatives, Mullins said, "East Africa is being held back by the lack of secure, scalable, reliable, low -latency data storage solutions.
"By leading investment in, and development of data centers in the region, we are unlocking this latent demand in the market and removing a significant barrier to the continued digital transformation of this exciting and vibrant market."
Looking ahead, First Brick Holdings has said it will aim to develop and launch a further five tier III centers across the both eastern and southern by 2022, totaling a sum of approximately $50m in project investments.