Two partner to build 30MW data centre in Ghana
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has reaffirmed its commitment to invest $300 million in Africa Data Centres (ADC) for the construction of data centres across some African countries.
This commitment was affirmed through a memorandum of understanding signed between the two organisations in Accra.
The construction of the data centre forms part of a shared commitment from both organisations to strengthen ICT infrastructure in Africa.
Speaking at the signing, US Ambassador to Ghana Virginia Palmer said the expansion of DFC and AFC’s partnership to Ghana was an indication of the commitment of the US government to supporting technological advancement in Ghana.
She said technological advancement and digitalisation had become the lifeblood of innovation and progress, as they fuel economic growth, drive entrepreneurship and enhance the collective ability to solve the most pressing global challenges.
She noted that innovators in Ghana, and across the continent, were embracing technology and using it creatively to generate opportunities and drive development.
“Ghana is harnessing the potential of the digital economy, and we applaud its vision and commitment to building a strong digital ecosystem.
“It is a testament to Ghana's focus on creating an environment that fosters innovation, attracts investment and empowers its people,” she stated.
She said the US was working to support these efforts, noting that in December 2022, during the Africa Leaders’ Summit, President Biden launched the Digital Transformation with Africa initiative, which was designed to expand digital access and literacy while strengthening digital enabling environments across Africa.
“Working with Congress, this initiative intends to invest over $350 million and facilitate over $450 million in financing for Africa, in line with the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy and the US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.
The Chief Financial Officer of Africa Data Centres, Finhai Munzara, said from under 200MW of data centre capacity currently, Africa as a whole needed up to 1,000 MW and 700 facilities to meet demand and bring capacity density up to par with that in South Africa, the continental leader.
He said after signing a $300m facility, the DFC had already supported ADC’s development of this critical infrastructure in Kenya and South Africa, as part of its ambitious plans to reach 10 of the continent’s major economic hubs.
“We are pleased to extend the strong relationship to enable faster digital transformation in Ghana, a country that is becoming a regional digital hub, enjoying a significant share of West Africa’s internet traffic.
“In Ghana, ADC plans to deliver up to 30MW of IT capacity in Multiple Phases within the Ghana Trade Fair site,” he stated.
He said the site provides a unique opportunity to deliver the critical hyperscale IT infrastructure in a secure, central location within the city limits; and close to key connectivity infrastructure.
Attracting data-driven companies
For his part, the CEO of the DFC, Scott Nathan, said data centres could help attract data-driven companies looking for a foothold or to expand their operations in growing African economies.
He said markets with trusted technology and dependable data storage were magnets for businesses that create jobs and opportunities in high-growth sectors.
“When this data centre is operational, it will aid development and economic growth here in Accra, for communities across the country, and in the wider region,” he stated.
He said the DFC’s commitment to strengthen this kind of ICT infrastructure in Africa was in keeping with President Biden and the G7’s larger commitment to mobilise private capital for high-quality infrastructure investment that would improve lives.
“Safe, secure and open information technology networks are a critical foundation for the development of any vibrant, innovative economy.
“They are a vital part of the infrastructure that allows a dynamic private sector to grow and thrive,” he added.