the beginning of the cloud circle to sub-Saharan Africa – a new report identifies investments and trends

London – This week a new report is published – African Interconnection Report: Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa’s Cloud and Data Center Ecosystem – which looks at where data centers and cloud service providers work and what they do. The report was produced by the Balancing Act in partnership with PCCW Global.

2020 was an important year for the cloud ecosystem in Africa. Substantial new investments are being made in carrier-neutral data centers in sub-Saharan Africa, and the acceptance of cloud services is slowly but surely increasing.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has led many businesses to accelerate the acceptance of cloud services to help them function in these difficult times. But they also look beyond the short term and want a more strategic view of how cloud can increase efficiency and reduce costs in the future.

The research focuses on ten of the largest economies in the region, but to a lesser extent covers all countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The focus countries in the report are: Angola, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda.

There are ten sub-Saharan African countries with carrier-neutral data centers (Angola, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia) and another 6 will be launched soon (DRC, Ethiopia, Rwanda) , Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe). Generally, significant investments are made in new facilities.

About a quarter of sub-Saharan Africa has an existing or planned carrier-neutral data center. Of the stretching capacity in five key countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Angola), South Africa represents 89% of the total capacity in the selected countries.

The quality and operational expertise of carrier-neutral data centers in sub-Saharan Africa has greatly improved over the past five years. Operators who were in the first wave of launches can now point to nearly a decade or more of continuous successful operation. Several of the planned next-generation data centers are being built according to Level IV standard.

Several service providers – mainly mobile phone operators – have made significant investments in data centers. It includes data centers of a certain scale in the following countries: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa.

There are 28 IXPs in sub-Saharan Africa. In countries where they exist, international players find themselves too. The largest concentration of international companies and organizations is in South Africa, followed by Kenya and Nigeria.

There are five major hypercalvers with an active interest in Africa. These are: Microsoft Azure (which is probably currently the largest provider), AWS, Google Cloud (which has a significant presence in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa), Whale Cloud (part of Alibaba) and Huawei Cloud.

African companies that use carrier-neutral data centers for data recovery or have their internal data centers replaced by an external provider are on their way to further cloud acceptance.

In more liberalized communications markets, there are local telecommunications companies and ISPs that need a meeting point feature: even with a relatively small number of players, in an IP world it makes no sense to have individual connections with all players.

Among the first wave of carrier-neutral users of data centers were banks that increasingly have legal obligations to have their disaster recovery off-premises. The second wave of users were multinational companies looking for cost and operational efficiency. The report contains several examples of businesses moving to the cloud. The acceleration in digital transformation and the arrival of more data centers and cloud service providers in Africa will increase the overall need for local interconnection.

To download the report for free:


Rural implementation in Ghana: Ghana’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) through the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), in partnership with the Export-Import Bank of China and Huawei Technologies Ghana, officially launched the Rural Telephony Project in Atwereboana, Ashanti launched Region on November 4th. The initiative aims to provide voice and data services to more than 3.4 million people in underserved and underserved communities by deploying 2,016 Rural Star websites developed by Huawei, bringing the national mobile coverage of 83% expanded to 95% and significantly accelerated local economic development.

Ethiopia – Two licenses selected: The Ethiopian Communications Authority confirmed last week that two new service providers have been selected to receive the country’s first private operating licenses, and that their names will be announced by the end of this month.

Kenya – Safaricom Rural Implementation: Thousands of residents in remote areas of Kitui County who were not previously connected to basic mobile telephony are now enjoying services thanks to regulatory obligations of licensed mobile phone operators. More than 30,000 people who were initially unable to receive or make calls can now enjoy mobile services due to the universal service obligation that requires mobile network providers to offer services in unoccupied areas according to their license terms. The sublocations favored include Katia, Kanthungu, Kavaani and Ikime. Safaricom has built telecommunication sites in Mwanzugululu in Katia sub-premises under its licensing obligation that now cover Nguuku Village in Mumoni Ward and Kanthungu site in Kanthungu sub-location, which provides coverage in Nthagani village in Tharaka district.

South Africa’s Pick n Pay launches MVNO: South African grocery retailer Pick n Pay will start providing mobile services to grow its value-added and financial services business, and seek to reduce data costs for customers. Instead of building infrastructure, Pick n Pay will operate as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, which uses MTN’s mobile network infrastructure to provide customers with prepaid, SIM-based access to services including airtime, data and SMS, which sold under its PnP Mobile brand. , it said Wednesday.

Wi-Fi 6 and roaming: According to an industry survey of Wireless Broadband Alliance among service providers, equipment manufacturers and businesses, nearly four out of five (79%) have adopted or planned the WBA OpenRoaming standard. As the Wi-Fi roaming standard was only introduced in late May 2020, it shows a very rapid and widespread acceptance of WBA OpenRoaming in less than six months.

The outgoing Trump administration has unveiled an executive order banning U.S. investments in Chinese companies owned or controlled by the Chinese military, according to Washington. The list includes the telecommunications equipment provider Huawei.

Pacer Ventures launches $ 3 million fund for early stages in Africa: looking for new ventures to solve major continent issues. The focus will be on vertical purposes for the continent in Africa, including healthcare, financial inclusion, education and agriculture.

CIVH, the South African telecommunications infrastructure holding company that owns both Vumatel and Dark Fiber Africa, is in talks with local and international investors as it seeks to raise new funding of ZAR6 billion (USD 389.4 million). According to TechCentral, citing sources with knowledge of the situation, Vodacom Group has held talks to buy a significant minority stake in CIVH. It is suspected that Vodacom wants to acquire a 30% -40% stake. The African telecommunications giant only entertained a takeover of Vumatel in 2018, only for CIVH to acquire the company instead.


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