WIOCC secures funding to boost digital infrastructure across Africa

WIOCC secures funding to boost digital infrastructure across Africa

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WIOCC Group has secured a financing package from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco.

In a significant move poised to transform Africa's digital landscape, the digital infrastructure provider WIOCC Group has secured a substantial financing package from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco.

This funding is expected to fuel WIOCC's expansion strategy across three African countries, enhancing digital connectivity and supporting economic growth across the continent.

The financing package comprises loans totalling $10 million and ZAR 200 million from the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and $20 million from Proparco, a development finance institution and subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement Group.

WIOCC anticipates finalising an additional $10 million loan from RMB to support its expansion efforts in Nigeria within the coming weeks.

The WIOCC Group intends to use the funding to further expand both core and edge data centres in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, and South Africa to meet the growing demand for colocation and other data centre services, which will in turn expand its fibre networks.

The financing is structured as sustainability-linked debt, with pricing linked to WIOCC’s commitment to improving the energy efficiency of its data centres and obtaining EDGE green building certification.

EDGE, an innovation of IFC, facilitates the design and certification of resource-efficient and zero-carbon buildings.

Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC Group said: “We are excited to conclude this next stage of our capital raise, which will enable significant expansion, adding further capacity to our open-access data centre operation and extending open-access hyperscale national, international, and metro connectivity across our key markets in Nigeria, southern Africa, the DRC, and Greater East and Central Africa.

“Our policy of continual investment in infrastructure to create Africa’s first truly open-access interconnected digital ecosystem means ongoing investment for growth, ensuring readiness to meet the future demands of our client’s customers throughout Africa.”

Meanwhile, Ariane Ducreux, head of energy, digital, and infrastructure at Proparco said: “The Agence Française de Développement Group has supported WIOCC since its inception in 2007. We are very proud to pursue this long-term partnership by supporting the expansion of the Open Access Data Centres’ activities in Nigeria, South Africa, the DRC, and beyond.

"Truly neutral and open-access data centres are the cornerstone of a diversified digital ecosystem. Local data storage and processing capacity are vital for the resilience of Africa’s digital network, as recent outages have demonstrated. The sustainability-linked structure of this new financing, along with technical assistance support, also aims to incentivise the rollout of energy- and water-efficient data centres, while adapting implementations to the specifications of each site environment.”

“Our long-standing partnership with WIOCC of more than 15 years demonstrates IFC’s commitment to increasing affordable and reliable digital connectivity in Africa through shared infrastructure. This new debt facility will help WIOCC fulfil its ambition to establish an integrated, open-access, core-to-edge cloud ecosystem throughout the African continent, which is critical to bridge the digital divide,” said Bertrand de la Borde, IFC global industry director of infrastructure.

Chidi Iwuchukwu, head of investment banking, Broader Africa at RMB, added: “RMB is thrilled to be a strategic banking partner to WIOCC. Digital infrastructure is one of our core sectors of expertise as a bank. We are excited at the opportunity to support this deal and remain committed to partnering with WIOCC on its growth journey across the continent.”

To learn more about the African data centre market, you can attend DataCloud Africa, a brand new event co-located by techoraco alongside ITW Africa.

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