ADCA says Africa needs 700 data centres to cope with demand

ADCA says Africa needs 700 data centres to cope with demand


Africa will need to add an aggregate capacity of at least 120MW of multi-tenant data centre capacity over the next decade to keep up with the current demand, according to a report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics.

The report also found that at a mid-point, the region will need to add close to 1000MW of capacity and 700 data centres for the broader region to be on par with existing South African levels.

“The land and data centre facility requirements are similarly considerable. Our analysis suggests that the region will need up to 700 additional facilities at an average of 3MW to hit the proposed India and South Africa benchmarks,” said the company in the report.

“Likewise, the region would need to make available 1.5 to 3.5 million square meters of well-located and adequately provisioned land to facilitate the buildout of the necessary data centre infrastructure. The analysis further shows that Africa’s data centre deficit is broadly distributed.”

The report revealed that 15 countries in Africa have a deficit between 5MW and 10MW of data centre capacity. Another 20 have a capacity deficit higher than 10MW.

Broadband adoption is increasing in Africa, and connectivity has become more essential in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Africa’s broadband user base is set to double over the next decade, crossing the half-billion mark as broader swathes of the population get access to connectivity.

“Signs of digital transformation are dotting the African landscape. Broadband network construction is booming; traffic volumes are exploding, doubling every other year in many markets,” the company added.

“The adoption of cloud service adoption accelerating; digital transactions are gradually replacing traditional, physical world options, driven by one of the world’s most innovative fintech ecosystem.”

The improvements in Africa’s data centre infrastructure over the past five years have been sizeable, according to the report, adding that more than 30 Tier III and above multi-tenant facilities have come online across the continent since 2016 - doubling the region’s hosting capacity.

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