US government pays first slice of ADC expansion investment

Tesh Durvasula.jpg

Africa Data Centres (ADC) has collected the first US$83 million of investment from the US government, money that will go to building data centres in South Africa.

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a federal agency, promised $300 million to ADC in late 2020, and this is the first tranche of the investment.

ADC is owned by Cassava Technologies, which also owns African carrier Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

At the time of the DFC award, Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of the Econet group, which includes Cassava Technologies and Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless, said: “This money will allow us to expand our facilities in South Africa and Kenya, as well as build new facilities in Egypt, Ghana, and Morocco.”

Masiyiwa said then that ADC will be working with its sister company DPA, which provides the power system for data centres, using solar energy and natural gas.

Tesh Durvasula (pictured), CEO of Africa Data Centres, said: “The increasing demand for cloud and other digital technologies on the continent has directly increased the demand for African data to reside within the continent. This means Africa needs more data centres.”

ADC said it is “executing an ambitious plan” to build data centres in ten African cities, including Abidjan, Accra, Lagos, Cairo, and Casablanca. It plans to expand existing data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Hardy Pemhiwa, president and CEO of Cassava Technologies, noted the investment by DFC followed $50 million investment by London-based C5 Capital into Cassava Technologies and a partnership to build cyber security operations centres in six African markets. “Through these investments, Cassava Technologies is building Africa’s digital infrastructure to enable accelerated economic development and ensure a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind,” said Pemhiwa.

Durvasula, who joined Cassava and ADC in February 2022, after 10 years with CyrusOne, said: “We are pleased that our data centre expansion programme in South Africa funded by DFC will cater to the growing demand in the country.”

Pemhiwa said: “We look forward to working closely with DFC to overcome Africa’s digital infrastructure deficit and accelerate the adoption of cloud services and digital applications across all industries, further making the continent a competitive destination for international investment.”