Africa's datacentre plans drive demand for IT infrastructure and services

Africa's datacentre plans drive demand for IT infrastructure and services

Africa's datacentre plans drive demand for IT infrastructure and services

Africa may be a relative laggard when it comes to digital transformation. But that reputation is fast dissolving in a flurry of development across the continent. The latest big announcement is that of a new 10MW Tier-IV datacentre in Angola, the country's first, by Paratus Group.

As it continues, this activity will in turn drive increased demand in IT infrastructure alongside key software and services.

Digital plans are ramping up

The African digital revolution has been peppered with datacentre announcements over recent years. In 2021, Cassava Technologies' Africa Data Centres subsidiary announced what it claimed at the time to be the continent's biggest ever datacentre expansion plan. The $500m scheme would see 10 hyperscale datacentres built in 10 countries over the coming two years, it said. In January this year the firm announced plans for its latest project: a 20MW facility set to open in mid-2024 in Cape Town.

America's cloud giants have also been investing in facilities on the continent. Google last year picked South Africa as the base for its first cloud region in Africa, following Microsoft in 2019, AWS in 2020 and Oracle in 2022. 

Opportunities for distributors

This is all good news for local consumers, businesses and the economy as a whole. According to Google-commissioned research by AlphaBeta Economics, the South Africa cloud region will add over $2.1 billion to the country's GDP and support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs by 2030, for example.

These trends will also drive opportunities for channel distributors and resellers to bid for projects. The increase in datacentre building for cloud and colocation will increase demand for servers, storage and networking equipment, coupled with surging interest in strategically important software like that used to secure and manage facilities. We're also likely to see increased demand for core support skills, possibly encouraging local governments to invest more in talent pipelines.

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